Shôyôroku, Case 66: Kyûhô’s “Head and Tail”

Teisho presented by Arno Hess on 21/11/2021 at the Pathway Zen Zenkai at Spring Hill, QLD, Australia.


Even a person who can apply supernatural powers cannot let a foot down;
Even a person who has forgotten all karma ties and extinguished all thoughts cannot raise a
You should say: Sometimes you just run, sometimes you just sit.
How can you attain the true balance?


A monk asked Kyûhô, “What is the head?” Kyûhô said, “Opening the eyes and not
perceiving the dawn.” The monk said, “What is the tail?” Kyûhô said, “Not sitting on a
ten-thousand-year-old sitting place.” The monk said, “What if there is a head, but no tail?”
Kyûhô said, “After all, it is not valuable.” The monk said, “What if there is a tail, but no
head?” Kyûhô said, “Being self-complacent, yet having no power.” The monk said, “What if
the head matches the tail?” Kyûhô said, “The practitioner gains power, but he never knows it


Round for a compass, square for a ruler:
When used, you do it; when cast away, you hide yourself.
Clumsily stumbling – a bird resting in the reeds;
Unable to go forward or backward – a sheep stuck in the hedge.
Eating rice of other people, slumbering in one’s own bed.
Clouds come up and cause rain, dew forms and becomes frost.
The jade lines cross each other and go through the eyes of needles;
The brocade threads constantly rush through the weaving shuttles.
The stone woman’s loom stops, and the dark night approaches noon;
The wood person walks on the road, and the moon goes beyond the zenith.

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