The Lighthouse in the Ocean of Chan


Chapter 4 The Third Story of the Lighthouse: Use


Section 1. Selected Disclosures and Koans Relative to the Use Stage

Section 2 Examples of Conditions for Attainment at the Present Stage

Section 3 Selected Koans with Different-Stage Answers

Section 3.1 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "The Intention of Bodhidharma's Coming from the West"

Section 3.2 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Family Style"

Section 3.3 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Ox Herding"

Section 3.4 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Duster"

Section 3.5 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Glancing Sutra"

Section 3.6 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Sending a Letter"

Section 3.7 Use stage Answers to the Koan "Mind"

Section 3.8 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Body"

Section 3.9 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Environment"

Section 3.10 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Still Coming to the Feast?"

Chan is not dead; however, the great opportune use is attained only when this stage of lively use has been reached. If one has not reached home, and yet, same as Chan teacher Da Hui Gao, advises everyone to walk into a boiling caldron, that would amount to asking a dog to jump off where a lion jumped off; how could the body not be lost? The ancient virtuous taught you to first die a great death; however, many people just die without resurrection. Throughout the ages how many Chan people are buried into oblivion in this way; what a great pity! That is why now, after you have understood to exit the dead, you are to revive, and then gradually train to use this thing. Water flowing, flowers blooming, excreting feces, urinating urine, where is not its lively use? I do not separately set up here a so-called place of use. Readers should not expect to find in this chapter some secret of success called "the great opportune use." Right now ask you this: Up until this point as you read along in this book, is there anything to bite or chew that has been given to you? As you walk along the words and between the lines, is there something obstructive, which follows shadows and searches after sounds, in your mind? The transformations of clouds and afterglow in the sky, like silk, like cotton, even in great abundance with such impressiveness, are but a game - just as a movie to a child. How could there ever have been anything for you to hold, to grasp as the great opportune use? If you had really died a great death, and had really understood to exit, then you would naturally have known the wonderful uses in your walking, standing, sitting and lying. After that if you could, following the example as set by the Second Patriarch, penetrate through the great sorrowful caves of gambling houses and brothels, then you would be counted as capable of walking in a boiling cauldron. Then all the means for emancipating the sentient beings are at hand; stepping on the red lotuses in the fire, you could act at will. If you have not attained this stage, definitely should not commit reckless and unruly conducts. It might be easy to cheat on others, and yet later, when the retribution falls upon oneself, it would not be easy to endure. Do not think that being able to see it means being able to act accordingly. Without familiarity it would be impossible to yield wonders. What is said by one should be in accord with which field one is at.

Section 1. Selected Disclosures and Koans Relative to the Use Stage

Zhao Zhou sent a duster to the Commander of Zhen Ding and bade his disciple, "If asks wherefrom this comes, tell him, 'What the old monk could not used up.'"

Zhao Zhou asked, "How is it to revive from death?' Tou Zi said, "It is forbidden to travel at night, yet arrive at dawn." Zhao Zhou said, "I was already aiming at the white spot of the target, but he even aims at the black spot." Jian says, "All say that Zhao and Tou had attained superior use; truthfully so! Both of these two great Chan masters had special collections recording in detail the dialogues that they engaged in respectively; unfortunately Jian Min has not seen them. However, all crows under the sky are likewise black, readers should learn from this koan that the only condition of the stage of use is 'Must arrive at dawn, while it is forbidden to travel at night.' If it is used at night without light, rare would be those who are different from the commoners! Nevertheless, nor might it not be used at night; the place of use should be right in the night. The pearl that is luminescent at night would be up to the practitioner to have the eyes for recognizing it."

Xue Feng asked De Shan, "According to the traditional style of this school, what is the teaching revealed to people?" De Shan said, "This school has no words; indeed there is not a thing to show to people." Yan Tou heard this and said, "The spine of De Shan is as hard as iron, bent would not break. Even though so, compared with preachers of doctrines, still a bit better." Jian says, "Yan Tou was mocking him for not having attained the use! Among Chan masters, there were some who could spread teachings over a whole area, with widespread reputation, but whose actual attainment needed not be above all other Chan people. There were also some whose attainment reached home, and yet their meritorious virtues could not spread into all ten directions. Even in secular matters, one cannot judge the gain and loss by prosperity and failure, not to say inside the gate of Chan! Therefore, readers should have a special eye, and not to neglect those great virtuous besides the originators of the five schools. As for Jian Min himself, his personal admiration is not so much for Lin Ji, De Shan, Gui Shan, Yang Shan and Fa Yan, but rather for Grandma Ling, Zhao Zhou, Tou Zi, Xuan Sha, Yan Tou, Pang Yun, Dan Xia, etc."

To guide people De Shan often used a rod to hit. Lin Ji sent someone to catch the rod, and pushed it once toward De Shan's chest. De Shan returned to the abbot chamber. Lin Ji said, "I have always suspected this fellow." Yan Tou said, "Just depending on this one rod at hand; when Buddha comes, also hit with the rod; when patriarch comes, also hit with the rod; how could it still be better?" Jian says, "This koan is the same as the previous one. Yan Tou mocked him for not capable of differentiating recipients and uses. Jian says instead, 'What a grateful fellow! Come in and have some tea!'"

De Shan in his old age was much benefited by Yan Tou. When he fell ill, someone asked, "Is there still one who is not ill or not?" "There is!" "How?" De Shan said, "Ouch! Ouch!" This is the one that Jian cited to Guo Yao; see Section 2.2 of Chapter One.

A monk asked Qing Mu, "How is the one ingenuity used secretly by Bai Long?" "What do you use daily?" "If so, your listening attentively has been futile." Qing thereupon shouted him out.

Gui Shan said, "So many people have attained only great opportunity, but not the great use." Yang Shan cited it to the master of a nunnery down the hill. The master said, "Cite again." Yang was about to cite it, the master trod him to the ground. Yang Shan therefore told Gui Shan about it; Gui Shan had a big laugh.

Ming Hui told the assembly, "The sun rises at the Mao hour (five to seven o'clock); usage needs no ingenuity."

Hui Ke, the Second Patriarch, sometimes visited bars, sometimes the butcher; sometimes he would practice street gossip, or mingle with servants and laborers. When asked, would say, "I myself tune the mind; what has it to do with your business?"

A monk asked Wen Yi, "When a prodigal son returns home, how?" "What to offer?" "Not a thing." "How to take care of daily needs?"

The First Patriarch of India, Mahakasyapa, said, "Each and every thing is the original thing; there is neither thing nor non-thing."

The Eleventh Patriarch of India, Punyayasas, said, "Delusion and comprehension are like the invisible and the obvious; light and darkness are mutually inseparable."

The Twelfth Patriarch of India, Great Bodhisattva Asvaghosa, said:

The invisible and the obvious are the original thing,
Light and darkness originally are not two;
Now the comprehended thing is transmitted,
It is neither taking nor leaving.

The Twenty-Second Patriarch of India, Manorhota, said:

Following all phenomena, the mind revolves,
Where it revolves can yet remain serene;
Following the flow, recognize the nature,
There is neither delight nor worry.

Fa Qian's verse reads:

At yesterday's encounter daily routines are discussed,
At today's meeting things remain as usual;
Why desire to seek and present the heart essential?
Why is the heart essential so particularly distant?

Ma Zu said:

Mind field now and then says,
Bodhi is yet only serene;
Matters and principles are all without hindrances,
At birth is non-born.

Huai Rang of Nan Yue heard that Ma Zu was preaching in Jiang Xi. He dispatched a man to go there, wait until Ma Zu is on the rostrum, and then ask, "What did the Dharma teacher leave Nan Yue to come here for?" Replied, "Ever since the rebellion of the barbarians, for thirty years there has never any lack of salt and sauces."

Dong Shan bade farewell to Dao Ming. Dao said, "Extensively do benefits." "How?" "Do not go against anything." Jian says, "Readers, for now, go back to the earlier koan on a prodigal son returning home, where the monk answered, 'Not a thing.' The meaning is only at the first stage. In the present koan, 'Do not go against anything' has a purport of the present stage of use. Wen Yi retorted, 'How to take care of daily needs?' which is of the same principle as this 'Do not go against anything.'"

A monk asked Qi An, "How is one's own Vairocana?" Qi An said, "Fetch me that bottle." The monk immediately fetched it. Qi said, "Yet put it back." After putting it back, the monk asked again. Qi said, "The ancient Buddha passed long ago."

Upasaka Pang called on Fa Chang and asked, "Long has been the yearning for Da Mei [large plum]; and yet it has not been examined to see if the plum is ripe or not?" Fa Chang said, "Where would you bite?" Upasaka said, "In that case, then it is a mixture of all sorts of things." Fa said, "Return me the kernel!" Jian says, "The purport is still at the second stage of exit." Jian says otherwise, "Sour!"

Fa Chang was dying. He told his disciples: "Whatever comes cannot be stopped; Whatever is gone cannot be pursued." Suddenly a sound of squirrel was heard, thereupon he said, "This is it but not other things. I am passing away now! You respectively take good care of it."

While Gui Zong was hoeing grass, a monk came to visit; right at that moment the teacher saw a snake and immediately chopped it with the hoe. The monk said, "Long has been the yearning for Gui Zong, and yet only see a vulgar sramana." Gui said, "You vulgar? Me vulgar?" The monk asked, "How is vulgar?" Gui stood the hoe up. The monk asked, "How is refined?" Gui made the gesture of chopping the snake. The monk asked, "If so, then simply follow suit?" Gui said, "Put aside following suit for now. Where did you see me chopping the snake?" The monk had no words. Jian says instead, "Just because too fine, I certainly did not see." This answer has the meaning of the second stage. Again, says instead, "Just because too vulgar, teacher need not cheat each other." Then the answer would be at the present stage of use.

Governor Li asked Gui Zong, "What is the matter that the teachings of Tripitaka expound on?" Gui raised a fist. Li said, "Not understood." Gui said, "This big fist also not understood?" Then he added, "Encounter people, then give it on the road; not encounter people, then worldly ways are spreading." Jian says, "According to the purport of the second stage of exit, it would be just right to praise him for not having understood. At the present stage of use, the transmission from teacher to disciple is this big fist. This may be evidenced by the koan on Lin Ji's comprehension of Tao. On the anecdote of Lin Ji's paying his gratitude by returning fist blows, my poem reads:

At a deep pool, why just yearn for a fishing platform?
Having knit a net, again follow the old road and come back.
Swallowing the shame even could crawl under another's crotch,
Still not comparable to returning fist blows at the ribs.

Two halls of monks fought over a cat. Pu Yuan said, "If it could be said, then the cat will be saved." All had no reply. Pu thereupon chopped the cat. Zhao Zhou returned from outside, heard the earlier saying, thereupon he took off his shoes, put them on his head, and went out. Pu said, "Were you here, the cat could have been saved."

While Pu Yuan was washing clothing, a monk said, "Monk still has this." Pu lifted up the clothing and said, "How to do with this?" Jian says, "Whenever learners lift the clothing up, then they forget to wash it; wash clothing, forget to lift it up. Therefore, the entity and use could not be simultaneous."

While Song Shan ordered Pang Yun to drink tea, Pang raised the coaster and said, "Everyone has a share, why could not it be said?" Song said, "Only because everybody has it, therefore it cannot be said." Pang said, "how can Elder Brother say it?" Song said, "Should not be speechless."

Dao Wu one day returned from outside, Pi Shu asked, "Where went and come?" "Come to get close." "Flapping two pieces of skin for what?" "Borrow." "If he exists, then you may borrow; If he doesn't exist, how to borrow?" Dao said, "Just because exists, therefore borrow." Jian says, "Before attaining to the field of Dao Wu, who could know exist?"

While Yang Shan was laundering clothing, he lifted it up and asked Gui Shan, "Right at such a moment, what would monk do?" Gui Shan said, "Here I have no doing what." Yang Shan said, "Does monk still see him?" Gui Shan said, "You have use but no entity." When summer comes, Gui Shan suddenly asked, "In Spring some sayings were not complete; try say it?" Yang said, "Right at such a moment, should not walk on knees." Gui thereupon said, "Keeping prisoners grows their wisdom." Jian says, "Entity and use originally are inseparable. A novice, however, can have only entity, but cannot exhibit use; or although starts to use, and yet has left entity. He cannot attain entity and use simultaneously. Therefore, definitely should not ask a novice to exhibit use; just obtain the root, no need to worry about the branches. Later, even though capable of exhibiting use, should also know that use is part of entity and has nothing to do with other matters. Use of spontaneity, but not use of contrivance; use free from subject and object, but not use with duality. This koan is worth refined study."

Tan Zhao used to exclaim, "Happy! Happy!" in his lifetime. Near death, however, he cried in complaint, "Yan King [the king in charge of the hell] is taking me!" The Quarter Master said, "Monk, when once thrown into water by the Regional Commander, did not move the countenance. Now how could be like this?" Tan thereupon lifted the pillow up and said, "You say, then was right? now is right?" The Quarter Master had no reply. Fa Yan said instead, "At that time simply cover the ears and exit." Jian says, "This koan is similar to the koan chosen earlier in which De Shan cried, 'Ouch! Ouch!'"

Wind blew down a stone banner. A monk asked Zhao Zhou, "To become worldly? To become saintly?" Zhao said, "Neither to become worldly, nor to become saintly." The monk said, "After all, what would it become?" Zhao said, "Fallen on the ground." Jian says, "Zhao Zhou, ever since Teacher Wang's indication that 'ordinary mind is Tao,' lively used without end."

The master of a nunnery raised a flame blower to show a monk, and asked, "Understood?" "Not understood." "For thirty years use without end." "Thirty years ago, use what?" The master of the nunnery had no reply. Jian says instead, "Flame blower."

The Seat Master was repeating the name of a Buddha. A junior monk called, "Monk!" without stating the matter. The Seat Master asked, "Three calls about what?" The junior monk said, "Monk has been calling him for years, and that is all right; this one has just started to call." Fa Deng, instead of the Seat Master, said, "Duo Chi!" Jian instead says otherwise, "What would you say that I call him for?"

A monk bade farewell to Zhao Zhou. Zhou advised him, "Where Buddha is present, should not stay; where Buddha is absent, pass in a hurry. Three thousand miles away, do not mention this to people encountered." Fa Yan said instead, "If so, then not going." Jian says otherwise, "Were it Jian Ming, where Buddha is absent, also would not stay; where Buddha is present, pass in a hurry. Three thousand miles away, immediately mention this to anyone encountered."

Xuan Jue heard a turtledove chirping and asked a monk, "What sound is it?" The monk said, "Turtledove chirping." Xuan said, "Would not want to incur karma leading to the avici hell, do not slander Buddha's Right Dharma Wheel." Jian says instead, "You slandered? I slandered?" According to the purport of the present stage of use, indeed it was Xuan Jue who slandered the Dharma; if according to the first stage of entrance, it would be this monk slandering the Dharma.

A monk said to Zhao Zhou, "Long have yearned for the Zhao Zhou Bridge, upon arrival see only a ladle." Zhao Zhou said, "You see only a ladle, but not the Zhao Zhou Bridge." The monk asked, "How is the Zhao Zhou Bridge?" Zhao said, "Come over! Come over!"

A monk asked Zhao Zhou, "All things return to one; Where does one return to?" Zhao said, "Old monk had a cloth garment made in Qing Zhou; it weighed seven catties."

A monk asked Zhao Zhou, "Does monk enter the hell or not?" "Enter." "Why?" "If not, who would teach and cultivate you?"

A monk asked Zhao Zhou about his age. Zhao said, "One string of chanting beads cannot exhaust the count."

A monk asked Xian of Ling Jiu, "Quiet without speeches, how to see and hear?" Ling said, "There is much rain water in front of the seamless tower."

Xue Feng came to the house of practitioner Gan Zhi. Gan closed the door and yet said, "Please enter." Xue thereupon threw his robe over the fence. Gan thereupon opened the door and made a prostration in obeisance.

Yang Shan followed Gui Shan to till the field. While tilling, Yang Shan asked, "This side is so high, that side is so low?" Gui said, "Water can level land; just level it with water." Yang said, "Water is no evidence. Monk simply level high the high place, and level low the low place." Gui Shan approved it.

Xue Feng asked Zhi Qin, "The ancients said, 'Three, three before, three, three later'; how?" Replied, "Fish in water, birds in mountains; how is the purport?" Xue said, "High may be shot, low may be fished."

A monk asked Fa Zhen, "To whom is the Dharma transmitted?" "Outdoors pillar, fire stove." "Still receive it or not?" " Fire stove, outdoors pillar."

A monk asked Venerable old hand Chen about the outline of the Doctrine. Chen said, "Burn incense inside the Buddha hall, fold palms together outside the monastic gate."

A monk asked, "To remove one layer with another layer, is not asked; Not to remove one layer with another layer, how?" Venerable old hand Chen said, "Yesterday grew eggplants, today plant winter squashes."

Hui Ran called on De Shan, spread his sitting mat. De said, "Do not unfold the napkin; there is no leftover food here." Hui said, "Even if there were, there is still nowhere to attach." De used the cane to beat him; Hui caught it, and even pushed De Shan back to a fall. De laughed conspicuously. Hui cried, "Heavens!" and exited. Jian says, "As to the leftover koan, there are also other koans, all testify that simply understand to exit but not to use, cannot attain the realm of the third stage."

A monk came from Xi Jing to visit Yun Shan. Shan asked, "Got a letter or not?" The monk said, "Dare not presumptuously pass out information." Shan said, "Expert teacher monk, naturally there are such ones." The monk said, "Who eats the leftover rice and soup?" Shan said, "There is only the Acarya who is unwilling." The monk made a gesture of vomiting. Shan called the attendant monk to help support the sick monk out. The monk thereupon left. Jian says, "If indeed understood to use, the monk should have been forever grateful to the teacher for the grace of discarding the old to originate the new."

A monk asked Ru Bao, "How is the urgent part of this monk?" Ru Bao said, "Not beyond this questioning."

A monk asked Monk Jiao, "How to apply efforts?" Jiao said, "When Spring comes, grasses naturally turn green; when the moon rises, the sky is already bright." Again asked, "How not to apply efforts?" Jiao said, "Stones fall in a landslide; fire spreads on a plain."

Bao Ying ascended the rostrum and said, "Those in all directions have only eyes for spitting and pecking concurrently, but not the use of spitting and pecking concurrently." A monk asked, "How is the use of spitting and pecking concurrently?" "When connoisseurs meet, they don't spit and peck; spitting and pecking concurrently lose." "This is still where this one asked." "How is where you asked?" "Lose." Ying thereupon beat him. The monk could not approve it. Later at Yun Men he heard people mention this statement, only then did he comprehend. He then came back to pay his respects to the teacher, but Ying had entered Nirvana. Therefore, the monk saluted Bao Ying's disciple Feng Xue and said, "This one was then in the shadow of the lamp, beyond the reach of light." Feng Xue approved it. Jian says, "This place of use is right at the place of losing. This is what is meant by:

When exactly using the mind,
It is exactly use without the mind.
Without the mind, exactly use;
Constantly use, exactly nil.

Gui Shan ascended the rostrum. A monk said, "Please expound the Dharma for the gathering." Gui said, "For you I have attained release from siege." The monk prostrated in obeisance. Xue Feng said, "The ancient was of such motherliness." Xuan Sha said, "Xue Feng missed the ancient's affair." Xue asked him. Xuan Sha said, "Upon the monk's questioning, Gui Shan attained all sundries." Jian says, "Xuan Sha understood use, therefore said like this. This was exactly the tone of Gui Shan as he had just moved from the exit stage and arrived at the use stage. It was very much his own attainment; what had it to do with motherliness?"

In Winter month [lunar November] Gui Shan asked Yang Shan, "Sky cold? People cold?" Yang said, "Everyone is here." Gui Shan said, "Why not straightway say it?" Yang said, "A little while ago was not curved; how about monk?" Gui said, "Simply need to drift with the flow." Jian says, "The purport of 'everyone is here' is only at the first stage of entrance; 'simply need to drift with the flow' then is the present stage of use."

While Gui Shan was asleep, Yang Shan came up, Gui thereupon turned his face toward the wall. Yang said, "How could monk be like this?" Gui said, "I had a dream; try to interpret it." Yang Shan fetched a basin of water for Gui to wash face. Xiang Yan came; Gui Shan also asked him to interpret it. Xiang offered him a bowl of tea. Gui Shan said, "The comprehension of you two exceeds Sariputra." Jian says, "Were I beside there and heard this saying, all spit out at once."

A monk asked, "Apart from life and death, poverty and wealth, without falling into the five elements, teacher, please express it directly." Fu Shi replied, "Metal, wood, water, fire and earth." Jian says, "Contemporary people always think that Chan practitioners alternatively have a set of secrets, a short cut to the ultimate. Yet not knowing that the most direct is no more than in itself, and that the shortest cut is no more than the uncontrived original ground. If one deliberately leaves the five elements to seek an alternative beyond them, then one would be one hundred and eight thousand miles off. For one who comprehends use, the five elements are just good for use; what would be falling or not falling?"

Dao Wu raised a sword. A monk asked, "Where does the sword come from?" Dao Wu thereupon threw it on the ground. The monk picked it up for him, Dao Wu retorted, "Where does the sword come from?" The monk could not respond. Dao Wu held the sword and danced, saying, "Like this, would do." Jian says, "Reading this koan, should know that playing with the five elements in the last koan is also similar. How could the sword have some coming or not coming? The point is that the person would play it upon the occasion."

A monk asked, "Following conditions without change, suddenly encounter someone who comprehends; how?" Yan Zhao said, "Wearing grass raincoat and slantwisely a bamboo hat in thousand peaks; leading water to sprinkle vegetables in front of the Wu Lao Peaks." Jian says, "Turn around to read the koan on 'in front of a ten thousand fathom cliff,' then the difference in depth would be known."

A monk asked for one sentence about facing the situation. Yan Zhao said, "Puffing the fire in the direction of the wind, takes not much effort."

A monk asked, "How is everything well settled?" Yan Zhao said, "It is forbidden to travel at night, arrive right at dawn." Jian says, "This plagiarized Tou Zi's words; see above."

A monk asked, "Day and night; how?" Yan Zhao said, "Carry basket, bring along cane."

Ma Gu asked, "Even the Eleven-faced Guan Yin not a saint?" Zhen Ying replied, "Yes." Ma Gu slapped him once. Zhen Ying said, "Thought you have not attained this stage." Jian says, "Not having reached this stage, who dares reply with the 'yes' word?"

Xing Si asked Shi Tou, "Someone said that Ling Nan had messages?" Shi Tou said, "Someone does not say." Xing Si said, "Where do the Tripitaka and the Collection of Four Main Sutras come from?" Shi Tou said, "All issued from here; eventually nothing is unrelated to him." Xing Si approved it. Jian says, "As regards this koan, there are three stages of various depths. 'Ling Nan had messages' is the first stage of entrance; 'Someone does not say' is the second stage of exit; 'eventually nothing is unrelated to him' is the present stage of use. Understood to exit, then could just use. Therefore, one koan may entail several stages. I have already compiled a separate chapter on this; details below."

Tian Ran, via Shi Tou, arrived at Ma Zu's place. Ma Zu asked, "The road of Shi Tou is slippery; had you slipped and fallen down?" Tian Ran said, "If slipped and fell down, would not have come."

A monk asked, "Planning to return to native land; how?" Wei Yan said, "Your parents, with bodies all red and rotten, lie in a bramble bush; where would you return to?" "Such be the case, then not returning." "You desire must return, I show you the recipe for fasting: Twice daily when you enter the Mess Hall, should not chew break a single grain of rice." Jian says, "'Should not chew break a single grain of rice, and yet still attend the Mess Hall twice daily,' its purport is the same as 'Zhao Zhou even though had only one tooth, and yet each and every grain was bitten.'"

Wei Yan of Yao Shan [Medicine Hill] dispatched a monk to Gan Zhi for donations. Gan asked, "Could medicine be brought along or not?" The monk said, "what is the practitioner's ailment?" Gan offered two silver ingots and said, "If there is people, then send it; if not, just forget it." Wei Yan ordered the monk to return the silver ingots. Gan added more silver and offered again. Jian says, "The monk's reply fell on the side of voidness, not understanding use. There is people to return it, therefore had been rescued, hence adding silver to offer. This offering only those who understand to use deserve to accept."

Wei Yan mounted the rostrum at night, not using the lamps; the assembly gathered in the dark. Wei said, "I have a sentence; wait till ox gives birth to a calf, then say it." A monk said, "An ox has calved; why not say it?" Wei called for lamps; the monk hid by rejoining the ranks.

Shi Lou asked a monk, "Does the master of the Han nation still value the Buddha Dharma or not?" The monk said, "Even people are not seen; what Buddha Dharma is there?" Shi said, "How many summers have you received the silas?" Replied, "Thirty summers." Shi said, "Too good that even people are not seen!" Thereupon beat the monk. Jian says, "Beating his not understanding to use."

While Mi Cang was sitting, a monk arrived, circled around him thrice, then knocked on the couch thrice and said, "Without seeing the master, would not join the congregation." Mi said, "Where do sentiment and cognition go and come?" The monk said, "Definitely not present." Mi struck the monk once with the cane. The monk said, "Almost fell into sentiment and cognition; Ha! Ha!" Mi Cang said, "Meet one while walking in the village meadow, what is there to say?" The monk said, "For now, go meet the congregation." Jian says, "What a clever monk!"

At meal time Yao Shan [Wei Yan] beat the drum himself. Sramanera Gao held the bowl and danced into the hall. Yao Shan thereupon dropped the drumstick and asked, "Which level of response is this?" Sramanera Gao said, "The second." Yao Shan asked, "How is the first?" Gao scooped a ladle of rice from the center of the barrel and went out. Jian says, "What is meant by the first and the second here are different from the order of stages. The second here refers to the second stage because of the dropping; the first refers to the third stage of use because it is higher than the second stage of exit. Ordinary daily uses require lots of efforts!"

Yang Shan took leave from Shan Dao. Shan called, "Acarya!" Yang responded. Shan said, "Don't go one-way; later do return to this side!" Jian says, "This koan is very obvious; it indicates that after exit, later would certainly know to use."

Ping Tian came; Mou Yuan got up; Ping Tian grabbed him and said, "Open the mouth would lose, close the mouth would die; at such a moment, the teacher please say." Mou Yuan simply covered his ears with his hands. Ping released his grasp and said, "One step is easy, two steps are difficult." Mou said, "What is the dead hurry!" Ping said, "If it were not for this, teacher could hardly escape criticism from all directions." Jian says, "'Open the mouth would lose' is to forget the maintenance of the first stage of entrance. 'Close the mouth would die' is to lack the relief of the second stage of exit. 'One step is easy' is to cover the ears, only exit but cannot use. 'Two steps are difficult' is the wondrous use after exit. However, if in one step the exit is indeed thorough, naturally, without walking, would arrive and can use. 'What is the dead hurry' was just to relieve Ping Tian from the anxiety about 'two steps are difficult.' The ancients encouraged each other in such a manner. How could the arrogant Chan people of later generations be comparable to them!"

The congregation gathered. Guang Ren came out from the abbot chamber, and when he nearly arrived at the Chan couch, said, "Not to be unworthy of the eye of lifelong quest spent in traveling, make a greeting; in the future will there still be?" Guang having ascended the couch, a monk came forward. The teacher said, "Not unworthy of me; follow the assembly's suit for now;" and thereupon returned to the abbot chamber. The next day, someone asked about the purport, then he said, "There is rice for you to eat at meal time, a bed for you to sleep on at night; why press on me?" The monk saluted. The teacher said, "Painful! Painful!" The monk requested for straight instruction. The teacher let one foot dangle from the seat and said, "stretching or folding is completely up to the old monk." Jian says, "Through use of the third stage to receive everyone, could hardly meet the right recipient; that is certainly rather painful. As to the later generations who have only the view of the third stage and yet completely without the measure of realization of the third stage, that has been even more painful."

A monk asked about having leak; Ling Zun said, "Bamboo skimmer." Again asked about no leak; then said, "Wood ladle."

Shao of Tian Tai came. Chan teacher Yue asked, "Came by boat? by land?" "By boat." "Still encountered fish and turtles or not?" "Frequently encountered them." "What to do when encountered?" "Tut! Draw the head back and go away." Yue laughed heartily. Jian says otherwise, "Tut! Draw the head back and go away with the waves."

Dong Shan told Qing Zhu, "Simply attain thousands of miles without an inch of grass." Again, "Without an inch of grass, how to attain?" Qing said, "Out of the door is grass." Dong said, "In the country of Great Tang could there be how many such people!" Jian says, "From the exclamation of Dong Shan, it could be seen that even during the Tang Dynasty when Chan was so flourishing, there were still very few who comprehended haveness and use. Later in the Song Dynasty, Da Hui Gao, in numerous discourses, always encouraged people to apply at the use stage; that was quite imprudent! The ancient virtuous above was encouraging only at where there is not an inch of grass in thousands of miles, because in application it could not be otherwise. As to comprehension in view, from entrance to exit, from exit to use, and then to finish, should be clearly seen through all at once at the very beginning. Jian has written a gatha on this:

Easy to fall from the path into grasses;
Hard to attain no grass for thousands of miles.
Easy to maintain one grass in thousands of miles;
Hard to stay atop hundreds of grasses.

Attainment depends not on the mouth but on the feet. The important thing is not to cheat oneself."

Seng Mi and Dong Shan were wading across a stream. Dong said, "Don't step wrongly." Mi said, "Wrongly, then could not wade across." Dong asked, "Not wrongly, how?" Mi said, "Cross the stream with the Elder."

A monk asked Seng Yi, "How is the Buddha Vairocana?" Seng Yi said, "Not transcending."

A monk asked, "Having arrived the inconceivable realm, how?" Yuan An replied, "Spring mountains often lift their feet; white sun does not move its wheel."

A monk asked Yue Lun, "How is Tao?" Yue said, "Stone cow repeatedly breathes out the Spring fog; the neighing of wooden horse fills the entire road." Jian says, "In Chan books the metaphors of wooden horse, stone girl, etc., are often employed to indicate the states of the first and second stages. As to these wood and stone effigies displaying use, it belongs to the present stage; it is nothing unusual in attaining realization. Readers must not misunderstand it by taking the words at their face value."

A monk asked Dao Ying, "How does one striving for improvement behave?" Replied, "Peaceful under the sky."

A monk asked Ju Dun, "Were the patriarchs sramaneras free from engagements?" "If they were sramaneras, they could not be free from engagements." Asked again, "Why?" "Difficult to find one."

A monk asked, "How is the man in a concealed chamber?" Dun Ru replied, "Just born is unobtainable; not to treasure when unborn."

A monk asked, "How not to fall into ranks?" Shi Yan said, "Cannot be arranged." "Why?" "Previously he had no rank." "Occupying which position?" "Not to sit in the Universal Light Palace." "Still in charge and cultivate or not?" "Renown is revered by all the three realms; where does not come to worship?"

Dao Xian asked Ding Hui, "Where does Superior Seat come from?" Ding Hui said, "Far left Ba Shu, near from Kai Yuan." Finished answering, he came up and said, "How is it now?" Dao said, "Go have some tea." Ding did not retreat; Dao again said, "Wait until the autumn weather turns a bit warmer, then go." Ding thereupon exited, and exclaimed, "Today intended to take the Fortress of Luo Shan; nevertheless, the bow is broken and the arrows are exhausted. Give up, give up!"

Xue Feng said, "To comprehend this matter, it is similar to the ancient mirror - Hu comes, Hu appears; Han comes, Han appears." Xuan Sha heard this and said, "Suddenly the mirror is broken, then how?" "Hu and Han both disappear." Xuan Sha said, "Old monk's heels have not touched ground yet." Jian says instead, "Hu and Han are ready-made."

Xuan Sha said, "When the blind, the deaf and the mute come, how to receive them? Raising the duster is not seen, conversation is not heard, in addition, the mouth is dumb; how do you consult for them? If they cannot be received, then the Buddha Dharma would be ineffectual." A monk said, "These three kinds of people still allow consultation or not?" Xuan said, "How do you consult for them?" The monk bade farewell and exited. Xuan said, "Not so! Not so!" Gui Chen retorted, "How to receive those with eyes, ears and mouth?" Zhong Ta said, "The three kinds of disabled people, where are they right now?" Another monk said, "Not only denouncing others, but also denouncing oneself."

A monk asked, "The entire universe is a bright pearl; how does learner comprehend this?" Xuan Sha said, "Why need to comprehend?" The monk also said, "Why need to comprehend?" Xuan Sha said, "Clearly know that you are making a plan for living toward the den of ghosts." Jian says, "Xuan Sha was reproaching him for not understanding to use."

Army Superintendent Wei mentioned Mount Cao as very particular. Xuan Sha said, "How far is it from Fu Zhou to Mount Cao?" Wei pointed to a monk on the side and asked, "Ever been there?" "Have been." "How far?" "One hundred and twenty li." Wei said, "Thus, Superior Seat has not been there." Yet Wei stood up to bow to the teacher. Xuan said, "The Army Superintendent should have paid respect to this monk; and yet this monk should feel ashamed." Jian says, "Xuan Sha reproached the Army Superintendent for not comprehending the use. This monk answered at the use stage. However, it was accidentally so, but not knowing the use for sure; even the previous entrance and exit stages are beyond comprehension, hence should feel ashamed."

Army Superintendent Wei asked, "Daily use without knowing; how?" Xuan Sha picked up a fruit and said, "Eat!" Wei, having eaten it, asked again. Xuan Sha said, "It was just that." Jian says, "Daily use without knowing; the examples are everywhere. Those who have not gone through the entrance and exit stages, consider such uses as no different at all from those of the common folks."

A monk asked: "What did Vimalakirti and Manjusri converse about?" Wu Zhen said, "Only the water in the Mirror Lake in front of the gate, breeze will not change its olden waves."

A monk asked Xing Sheng, "How is the matter of the transmission beyond doctrinal teachings?" "Go have some tea."

Ling Zhao pointing to the semilunar moon asked Superior Seat, "Where has that one piece gone?" Replied, "Do not sustain illusory thoughts." Ling said, "One piece is lost already."

A monk asked, "Touching iron into gold; how?" Ling Zhao said, "Still know touching gold into iron?"

A monk asked, "When silent without speeches; how?"" Hong Nie replied, "Move one step forward." Jian says, "What the ancients called one step is no different from what is called one stage in this book."

Xue Feng cited a couplet from the inscription on a National Master's tombstone which reads: "When the mind grasps it, the stinking plant Airavana is used as sandalwood; when the essence is lost, nectar is among the inferior foods." He then asked a monk, "One statement must possess the dual import of gain and loss; how to say it?" The monk raised a fist and said, "Cannot be called fist." Hong Tao also raised a fist, and yet said, "Just because it is called fist."

A monk asked, "The way upward was not transmitted by thousand sages; don't know how monk transmit it?" Hong Tao replied, "Save mouth for eating food."

Cong Zhan sent a disciple to welcome Elder Long Shou by saying, "Do not send instead your attendant." "Not allowed to send forth; how could be departed?" Cong said, "All too affectionate!" Shou had no reply. Cong said instead, "Further, thank the honorable disciple for conveying the instruction."

A monk asked about Chao Shan [Mount Tide]; Yan Zong replied, "Not for corpses to stay overnight." Again asked about people on the mount; he replied, "Planting red lotus on rocks." Jian says, "The former answer 'not for corpses to stay overnight' belongs to the second stage of exit. The latter answer 'planting red lotus on rocks' belongs to the present stage of use. The key is to plant on rocks. The rocks must have the capacity of not for corpses to stay overnight before red lotus can be planted on them."

A monk asked Superior Seat Fu of Tai Yuan, "What is called 'Bodhi is whatever that meets the eye'?" Fu kicked a dog and it ran off with a shriek. The monk had no reply. Fu said, "The puppy could not take a kick."

A monk asked Fa Yi, "Arising of thought is departure, having intention is wrong; how does learner enter the Tao?" Fa said, "Some people often keep intentions; why are they not wrong?" The monk said, "How about now?" Fa said, "That is wrong already!"

A monk asked, "Does monk still love wealth and sex, or not?" Feng Ling replied, "Loves." The monk said, "As a learned Buddhist, how could there be love for wealth and sex?" Feng said, "Comprehending the Grace are few; unworthy of the Grace are many!"

A monk asked, "After the saints retract lights and return to the origin; how?" Qing Fa replied, "Many wailings of monkeys are often interrupted; travelers thousands of miles away from home are worried to hear."

A monk asked, "How to come close to the ancients' readiness?" Qing Fa replied, "With goodwill in telling you: Do avoid the time before it occurs."

A monk asked Chan teacher Tao, "When the ancient mirror was not scrubbed; how?" "Ancient mirror." "After it is scrubbed; how?" "Ancient mirror."

A monk asked Qi Ru, "How to evade life and death?" Replied, "Upon the arrival of the warrant, just obey and go." The monk said, "Have already been arrested by life and death!" Qi said, "Ou-Ouch!" Jian says, "This is the same as the previous 'De Shan crying Ouch' koan."

A monk asked, "How is the way of a sramanera?" Dao Kuang replied, "Neither way nor no-way."

A monk asked, "In the right position is there still people becoming Buddha or not?" Xing Wu replied, "Who are the sentient beings?" "Thus, all have become Buddhas?" "Give me back the right position." "How is the right position?" "You are a sentient being!"

A monk asked Zang Yong, "Does the Dharmakaya experience suffering or not?" "How could hell be heaven?" "Thus, it has experienced suffering." "What would be the transgression?"

A monk asked, "How is 'ordinary mind accords with the Tao'?" Wen Qin replied, "Drink tea, eat meals, as the time comes; viewing waters, viewing mountains, indeed enjoy the sentiments."

A monk asked, "Commonplace; how?" Ling Kan replied, "Try advance one step and see."

The congregation gathered, and requested Wen Yi to resolve a doubt. Replied, "Discuss in the living quarters; discuss in the tea hall."

A monk asked Bian Long, "How is the upward matter?" Replied, "Beneath the sole." The monk said, "Thus, would be ordinary activities." "Don't wrongly recognize."

Dan Xia called on Chan teacher Gu Si. When the porridge was cooked, the practitioner served the teacher, then served himself, but did not serve Dan Xia. Dan thereupon served himself. The practitioner said, "Got up before dawn at the fifth watch of the night, and yet there are night travelers." Dan Xia asked, "Why not reproach the practitioner for lack of etiquette?" Gu Si said, "Do not soil other men and women on the pure land." Dan said, "Almost missed asking this old fellow."

Yan Tou spent the summer at the residence of practitioner Gan Zhi. While Yan Tou was mending clothing, the practitioner went by, Yan Tou made a gesture of pricking with the needle. The practitioner tidied up his clothing in order to bow in gratitude. His wife asked, "What for?" The practitioner said, "Could not say." The wife said, "Should also let everyone know." The practitioner told her. The wife said, "Thirty years from now, should know that each time drink water, each time choke." Their daughter said, "Who would know that all the lives of people on Earth have been pricked by Superior Seat Yan."

Once upon a time there was an old woman who built a hut to sustain a Chan practitioner. After twenty odd years, she sent a girl of sixteen to bring meals to the practitioner and attend to his chores. One day, she ordered the girl to embrace the practitioner and ask him, "Right at such a moment; how?" The Chan practitioner said, "A withered wood leans on a cold precipice; in late Spring it still has no warmth." The girl reported to the old woman. The old woman said, "For twenty years I have made offerings to only a vulgarian." She then drove the practitioner out and burned down the hut. Jian says instead, "At shoals in rapids it is high time to use barge-pole." This purport belongs to the present stage. The Chan practitioner's reply was at the first stage; not only a vulgar fellow, but also a dead fellow.

A nun came to Zhao Zhou and asked about the most secret meaning. Zhao Zhou poked at her genital. The nun said, "Monk still has this?" Zhao Zhou said, "One does not have this one; and yet you have this one."

Xuan Sha saw a monk arrive, beat the drum for general assembly three times himself, then returned to the abbot chamber. The monk, having put on formal attire, also beat the drum for general assembly three times, but went to the monastic quarters to stay. The attendant reported it to Xuan Sha and said, "The newly arrived monk slighted monk." Xuan said, "Ring bell to gather the assembly for examination." The assembly had gathered; the new monk did not attend. Xuan Sha ordered the attendant to fetch him. When the newly arrived monk had just come out of the monastic quarters he patted the attendant once on the back and said, "Monk calls you." The attendant went to Xuan Sha's place; the monk still returned to the monastic quarter to stay. The attendant asked Xuan Sha, "Monk why not examine the newly arrived monk?" Xuan Sha said, "I have already examined for you." Jian says, "Only guest and host like this may qualify as opportune use, as pick and peck, and as picking and pecking simultaneously lose."

While all were picking bracken roots, Nan Quan held one stem up and said, "This one is good for offering." Zhi Jian said, "Hundred flavors of precious foods, he also does not look at." Nan Quan said, "Even though so, each and every one should taste it to attain." Jian says, "The purport of Zhi Jian's answer was only at the second stage of exit."

The King of Min saw Xuan Sha go aboard ship. Xuan Sha knocked on the ship and said, "How could the Great King exit from here?" The King said, "How long have already been here!" Gui Zong Rou said otherwise, "Not because of monk could not have arrived here." Jian says, "The King's reply was at the second stage; Gui Zong's alternative reply attempted to exit but did not reach use. Jian would approve neither of these, hence instead says otherwise, 'The ship is leaving; till we meet again!'"

A monk asked a veteran practitioner, "How is the man in a concealed chamber?" The veteran practitioner said, "In the presence of guests do not reply." Xuan Sha said, "Has it ever been concealed?" Gui Zong Rou said otherwise, "Whereby did you get to see?" Jian says, "Xuan Sha was passively denying its concealment; Gui Zong Rou was using concealment in answering to concealment. Therefore, instead says otherwise, 'When guests come, greet them as usual.' Should know that only concealment in daily activities qualifies as real concealment; not displaying peculiarity would then qualify as real concealment."

The Quarter Master went to a stone chamber, yet returned to Yun Yan. Yun said, "Entered the stone chamber to see; why returned right away?" The Quarter Master had no reply. Dong Shan said instead, "Therein someone had occupied." Yun said, "What did you go there for?" Dong said, "Should not cut off human relations."

Section 2 Examples of Conditions for Attainment at the Present Stage

Chong Xin, attendant to Tian Huang, asked, "Why not show me the heart essence?" Tian Huang said, "Ever since you came, I have never tried not to show it." "Where?" "You held tea; I received it. You served food; I accepted it. You saluted; I nodded." Chong Xin remained silent for a long while. Tian Huang said, "Seeing it, then it is seen immediately. Figuring it out through thinking is a mistake." Chong Xin right then comprehended and said, "How to maintain?" "Let nature be and relax, go along with conditions and be carefree; simply exhaust worldly thoughts, otherwise there is no holy interpretations."

Shan Hui's attendant did not know how to apply his mind. He had left home for a long time and wanted to go back visit. Upon departure he asked, "Monk has peculiar matters; why not teach earlier?" Shan Hui said, "You steamed rice, I lit the fire. You served food, I extended the bowl. Where have I let you down?" The attendant thereupon greatly comprehended. Jian says, "Who would know that peculiar matters are originally in ordinary daily uses."

Section 3 Selected Koans with Different-Stage Answers

Section 3.1 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "The Intention of Bodhidharma's Coming from the West"

Chong Hui's reply:

White apes carrying cubs come to green mountains;
Bees and butterflies suck flowers within green calyxes.

Tan Ran asked National Master Hui Zhong. Replied, "Why not ask yourself your own intention?" "How?" "Should observe concealed operation." "How?" The master showed it by opening and closing his eyes.

Xing Si replied: "What is the price of Lu Ling rice?"

Ma Zu replied: "What is the intention right now?"

A monk asked Bao Che. Bao swung the cane around the body once, raised one foot and said, "Comprehend?" The monk had no reply. Bao beat him.

A monk asked Da Mei. Replied, "There was no intention in coming from the West." Yan Guan heard it and said, "One coffin with two corpses." Xuan Sha said, "Yan Guan is an expert." Jian says, "Xuan Sha praised Yan Guan in that he could comprehend the present stage of use."

Wu Ye asked Ma Zu; Zu replied, "Great Virtuous is in commotion right now; come some other time." Wu Ye just stepped out, Ma Zu called, "Great Virtuous!" Wu Ye turned his head back; Zu said, "What is it?" Wu Ye comprehended right away and prostrated. Zu said, "This blunt fellow prostrating for what?" Afterwards Yun Xi said, "Where was Fen Zhou [Wu Ye] right in commotion?"

A monk asked Zhi Qin. Replied, "Planting fruit trees at the bottom of a well." The monk said, "Learner does not comprehend." Zhi said, "Peaches and plums are expensive this year; one fruit is worth a thousand units of gold."

A monk came from Qian Zhou and asked Ru Min. Replied, "Is not the boy an aboriginal child?" "How?" "You are from Qian Zhou."

A monk asked Yao Shan. Replied, "Mid winter is severely cold."

Lu Shui replied, "Still see the anther trellis in front of the yard or not?"

Feng Shi replied, "East wall hits west wall." Jian says, "This reply contains theoretical import and measure of realization at the same time. One who had no such experience would not know; do not say that all are merely sharp responses."

A monk knocked at the door. The attendant opened it and left. The monk saluted and asked. Ling Guan said, "Who was the man that just left?" The monk attempted to move forward, the teacher thereupon pushed him out, shut the door.

A monk asked, Wen Xi thereupon called the Quarter Master, and said, "This monk is crazy."

A monk asked, Liao Wu thereupon raised the duster. The monk said, "Isn't this it?" The teacher laid down the duster.

A monk asked, Li Cun thereupon lifted a tea spoon. The monk said, "Isn't this it?" Li yet threw it into fire.

Yan Jiao replied, "Today, tomorrow."

A monk asked, Cui Wei replied, "Wait till no man, then say to you." The monk said, "Already no man, please say." Cui got off the couch, led him into the bamboo garden. The monk said, "No man, please say." Cui pointed to the bamboos and said, "This pole is so long; that pole is so short." The monk greatly comprehended.

Tou Zi replied, "Not refrained from expression."

Ren Ben replied, "Still see the fir and dogwood in the yard?"

Shi Na replied, "That is so fresh!"

Wu Kong replied, "You say this land still has it or not?"

Section 3.2 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Family Style"

Fa Zhen replied, "All the drought land is a winnower." "What interpretation?" "Winnower has lips; rice does not jump out."

Feng Shi of Guo Qing Monastery replied, "Tray stand, chair, stove, window."

Sheng Guang replied, "Fu Zhou lichee, Quan Zhou arbor tree."

Feng De replied, "Whenever encountering matters face the wall." Again asked about the original matter, replied, "Never ask others again."

Ru Bao replied, "Three bowls of tea after meal."

Chan teacher Zhen replied, "Hoe, shovel."

Chan teacher Wei replied, "Mountain field millet meal, light yellow pickled wild vegetables." "A superior guest comes, how?" "Eat, then eat as he wants; not eat, then free to go."

Zhao Hua replied, "Wherever is at ease."

Cheng Jing replied, "Within the gate matters are handled through discussion; there are more layers than the imperial palaces."

Ming Da replied, "Everywhere ready-made."

A monk asked about Wan An's family style. Zi Hua replied, "Moss soup and warehouse rice." "How about superior guests?" "Three servings of tea after the meal."

Section 3.3 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Ox Herding"

Lin Ji asked Xing Shan, "How is white ox on open ground?" "Mei." Lin said, "Mute Xing Shan's mouth!" "How about old monk?" "This animal!"

Xue Feng asked a monk, "How many years is this water buffalo?" The monk had no reply. Xue himself said instead, "Already seventy-seven." The monk said, "How does monk become buffalo?" Xue said, "What are the transgressions?"

Xuan Sha said, "Wise one will pick it up as soon as he catches it; do not wait a blink and lose the ox." Jian says, "See him 'pick it up as soon as he catches it,' is there still any matter not it? 'A blink does not lose it,' is there still any moment not it? Nowadays ordinary Chan mouthers should feel terribly ashamed facing Xuan Sha's usual comment: 'Heels have not touched the ground.'"

Nan Quan (i.e., Pu Yuan, also called himself by the lay name "Teacher Wang") was going to pass away. The First Seat asked, "Where to?" "Shall be a water buffalo down the hill." "Could this one still follow monk or not?" "If follow me, then have to come carrying a blade of grass in the mouth." Jian says, "In an 'ox herding' koan, at the first stage definitely avoid trampling on others' farm seedlings; at the third stage should know to carry grass in the mouth. The depths of attainment differ but are not contradictory."

A king in south China asked a veteran practitioner, "I have a water buffalo; there is not a blade of grass for thousands of miles, would not know where to pasture it?" The veteran practitioner was speechless. Gui Zong Rou said instead, "A good spot for pasturing." Jian says, "Gui Zong's substitute reply was still at the second stage of exit. If Jian were there, then would definitely reply otherwise, 'Everywhere is good for pasturing; when has any time ever been wasted?'"

North Zhi Xian of Yun Men Tan Zhou said at New Year's Eve's gathering, "The year being exhausted there is nothing of this year to share with people. Old monk stir-fries a white ox on open ground, cooks corn meal, boils wild vegetable soup, burns fallen branches to make a bonfire. Everyone finishes the meal and sings 'Village Field Joy.' Why? Lest it be seen taking shelter under others' roof, just called by people as a boy." He descended from the seat and returned to the abbot chamber. Late at night the executive monk entered the abbot chamber, saluted and said, "Officials from the county hall have arrived to arrest monk." Zhi said, "What for?" "Monk killed an ox without turning in the hide and horns." Zhi threw a hat on the ground. Right away the executive monk picked it up. Zhi descended from the Chan couch, grabbed him by the chest and shouted, "Thief! Thief!" The executive monk put the hat on Zhi's head and said, "It is cold; temporarily return to monk." Zhi laughed a great laugh; right away the executive monk exited. Jian says, "White ox on open ground is the first stage of entrance; killing it is the second stage of exit; turning in the hide and horns, and warding off cold are the present stage of use."

Section 3.4 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Duster"

A monk asked Ling Yun, "Buddha had not been in the world?" Ling raised the duster. Again asked, "Buddha had been in the world?" Again raised the duster. The monk then asked Xue Feng. Feng raised the duster the first time, put it down the second time. The monk prostrated in obeisance. Xue beat him. Xuan Sha said, "This may be likened to a person selling a garden with all four sides in the contract except a tree in its center which is still in his name." Jian says, "The monk's intention to pay homage to the one who put down the duster constitutes the so called 'there is a tree.' Therefore, Xue Feng beat him. Actually, Ling Yun's repetition of raising the duster rightly belongs to wonderful use of the present stage. If Xue Feng had not administered the blow after putting down the duster, it would have fallen into the second stage. If not believing in my words, may see the next koan."

Xue Feng entered the Dharma Hall, raised the duster and said, "This is for medium or inferior persons." A monk asked, "If superior of superiors comes, how?" Xue again raised the duster. The monk said, "This was originally for medium or inferior persons." Xue thereupon beat him. Jian says, "The first raise signified the first stage. Had he put it down as in the previous koan, it would signify the exit of the second stage. Raise again signified the present stage of use. The two raises although were similar, and yet the former signified entity, while the latter signified use. In between had gone through a 'great death'; die and then revive, only then is there wonderful use. Ordinary arrogant Chan people always consider sweeping up everything as the ultimate; how could they yield this wonderful use!"

A monk asked a certain Chan practitioner, "The ancients raised the duster; could that be considered as matters of Chan schools?" "Not to be so considered." "What were the ancients doing?" The teacher raised the duster.

A monk arrived; Gui Chen raised the duster and asked him, "Comprehend?" "Thank monk's compassion in demonstrating to learner." "Saw me raising the duster, immediately thanked the demonstration; you see mountains, see rivers, why not thank the demonstration?" Again, another monk arrived; Gui Chen also raised the duster. The monk then exclaimed in admiration; Gui said, "Over there sweeping the ground, raising the broom; why don't you exclaim in admiration?"

Zhao Zhou sent a duster to the commander of Zhen Ding and said [to the carrier], "If asked where from, then say: 'That which old monk in all his life cannot use up.'" Jian says, "Therefore, this stage is called 'the stage of use,' should know the ultimate of use, then would do. This word 'use' is not made up by me, but merely discovered by me."

Section 3.5 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Glancing Sutra"

While Wei Yan was glancing over a sutra, Li Ao saw it and said, "Seeing face is incomparable to hearing name." Wei called him; Li answered. Wei thereupon said, "How could you value ears but depreciate eyes?" Ao joined his hands in front of his chest to express apology. Hence he asked, "How is Tao?" Wei pointed up and down and said, "Comprehend?" "Not Comprehend." "Clouds in blue sky, water in vase."

Ao wrote a poem in praise of him which reads:

Through practice the figure attained that of a crane,
Under thousand pine trees are two sets of sutras;
I come to ask about Tao, no other sayings, but
Clouds in blue sky, water in vase.

Jian says, "People often take blue sky as Tao but clouds as delusive thoughts covering blue sky. Not realizing that he who comprehends use would create clouds in the sky to generate rain for the universal salvation of all sentient beings. As a leakproof bottle, how could it not store up water? Whatever is touched by he who comprehends use is Tao, why only sutras are not so? Only after having attained to this field could one be allowed to glance at sutras."

Yang Shan put a notice on the door which read, "During sutra glancing no enquiry." A monk came, stood by his side. Yang Shan rolled up the sutra and asked, "Comprehend?" The monk said, "One does not glance sutras, how could comprehend?" Yang Shan said, "You would comprehend in the future." The monk told Yan Tou about it. Yan said, "I was going to say that he was already buried in ancient papers; In fact still exists!"

Lin Ji went up the mountain at mid-summer and saw Huang Bo glancing a sutra. Lin Ji said, "I was going to say is a man, in fact is a monk closing eyes by black beans." Huang hit him and drove him away. After he had gone for several miles, Lin Ji doubted about this matter and returned to stay for the whole summer. Jian says, "Coarse fellow lacked delicacy."

Venerable old hand Chen was glancing over the Diamond Sutra. Chen Cao asked, "Among the translations of the Six Dynasties, what is the translator's position in order of merit?" Venerable old hand Chen picked up the sutra and said, "All things of contrivance are like dreams, illusions, bubbles and shadows." Another day, while he was glancing over the Parinirvana Sutra, a monk asked, "Glancing over what sutra?" Chen picked up the sutra and said, "This is the very last volume of the Cremation chapter." Jian says, "The Glancing Sutra koan has the greatest number of replies; only the reply of Venerable Chen was straight and clean cut."

Gui Zong Rou asked a monk, "Glancing over what sutra?" The monk said, "Treasure Accumulated." "Now that a sramanera, why glance at treasure accumulated?" The monk had no reply. Rou replied instead, "Ancient and modern use unlimited!"

Section 3.6 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Sending a Letter"

Shi Tou Xi Qian, instead of Qing Yuan, delivered a letter to Rang of Nan Yue. Before presenting the letter, right away asked, "When neither admiring the sages, nor valuing one's own spirituality, how?" Rang said, "You asked too high; why not ask downward?" Qian said, "Rather remain degraded for all eternity, never seek emancipation through sages." Huai Rang rest at that. Qian returned to Qing Yuan and said, "The message was not communicated. When starting out monk promised a blunt ax, now please let fetch." Xing Si [Qing Yuan] dangled one foot down; Qian thereupon made his obeisance. Right away he bade farewell and left for Nan Yue. Xuan Sha said, "The big and little Shi Tou were tumbled down by teacher Rang, until now cannot get up." Jian says, "Just because Shi Tou fell into nobility, knew only upward but cannot engage in downward uses, therefore Xing Si criticized then as 'not present,' and dangled a foot to inspire him. Afterwards he was again criticized by Xuan Sha. However, afterwards he shushed Yin Feng and compared Ma Zu to a pile of woods, should not be said as not understanding use."

Bai Zhang Huai Hai asked, "Who could pass words to Xi Tang?" Wu Feng said, "This one can go." Huai said, "How do you pass words?" "Say it upon seeing Xi Tang." "Say what?" "Then come to imitate the saying for monk."

Xi Tang delivered a letter for Ma Zu to National Master Zhong. The National Master asked, "What is the Dharma of your teacher?" Xi thereupon walked from east to west and stood there. "Only this; is there anything else?" Xi thereupon crossed over to the east side and stood there. The National Master said, "This is Ma Zu's; what does the kind one do?" "Earlier have presented it to monk already."

Dao Xi delivered a letter for Fu Bao to Captain Wang. Captain said, "Is monk still for people recently or not?" "If it is said for people, then monk will be wronged; if it is said not for, then the inquiry of the captain will be wronged." Captain said, "Say one sentence, wait until iron cow can chew grass, and wooden horse knows to smoke tobacco." "This one saves mouth for eating meals." The captain remained silent for a long while, then asked again, "Came by donkey or by horse?" "Donkey and horse have different routes." "How could have arrived here?" "Especially thank Captain for receiving words."

Section 3.7 Use stage Answers to the Koan "Mind"

Ma Zu said, "Ordinary mind is Tao; no artificiality, right and wrong, select and discard, extinction and permanence, commoners and sages."

Hui Jue asked the King of Min, "What is the mind that Great King responds daily to thousands of differences?" King said, "Where was mind obtained from?" "Could there be a mindless one?" King said, "How is the matter on that side?" "Please ask toward that side." King said, "Chan teacher does not deceive people would do."

Chan teacher Long Ya wrote the gatha saying:

Human sentiments are dense while sentiments for Tao scarce;
How could the worldling know that Tao uses human sentiments?
Vain are only human sentiments without the use of Tao,
How much time can human sentiments last?

Tong An, in denouncing no mind, said:

Should know that the originally sensitive and unobstructed nature
May be likened to a lotus growing in the flame of a red hot stove.
Do not say that no mind is rightly Tao;
No mind is still one barricade away.

Jian says, "'No mind' belongs to the second stage. 'Red lotus in flame' belongs to the third stage. That is the so called 'one barricade away.' However, for one who has not attained no mind, red lotus in flame is out of the question. Therefore, the ancients often said, 'only when having attained to this field would do.' If one cannot die a great death in the no mind of the second stage, then merely on the basis of a bit of view points, talks about walking into a boiling cauldron; that would vainly be merely dry wisdom."

Niu Tou said:

When exactly using the mind,
Exactly no mind is using.
Devious sayings are elaborated with names and concepts;
Straight talks are free from troublesome repetitions.
No mind is exactly using,
Regular use is exactly nothing.
The 'no mind' talked about now
Is no different from having mind.

A monk asked about the original mind. Ling Duan replied, "Sit atop Vairocana; appear and disappear in the infinite space." Jian says, "The first sentence belongs to the second stage; appearing and disappearing belong to the present stage."

A monk asked about the mind of ancient Buddhas. Sheng Nian replied, "A radish from Zhen Zhou weighs thirty catties."

A monk asked, "How is Tao?" Ju Dun said, "Not different from human mind. If one realizes this, only then would one be a man of Tao. Except wearing clothing and eating meals, there is not the slightest difference from human mind, and no cheating of human mind. If one says, 'I attain, I comprehend,' then it is irrelevant."

A monk asked, "Seeing Form is seeing the mind; still see the boatman?" Cong Zhan said, "See." "Putting the boatman aside for now, what would be the mind?" Cong Zhan yet pointed to the boatman.

A monk asked about the mind of ancient Buddhas. Zhen Sui replied, "Mountains, rivers, the great earth."

A monk asked about "before any thought was born." Tou Zi said, "Truly a rude saying."

Section 3.8 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Body"

A monk asked Tou Zi, "How is 'hiding body in fire'?" Replied, "Is there anywhere to cover up?"

Pu Yuan said, "Teacher Wang sells the body; who would buy?" A monk said, "This one." Pu Yuan said, "It is not set at an expensive price, nor at a cheap price. How would you buy?" The monk had no reply. Zhao Zhou replied instead, "Tomorrow will sew a cloth garment for monk." Jian says otherwise, "The current price in the morning and that in the evening are different. Right now it is settled by one word of mouth."

Zhi Gong said, "Everyday offer incense, not knowing that the body is the realm of Tao." Xuan Sha [Mysterious Sands] said, "Everyday offer incense, not knowing really a realm of Tao." Jian says, "After all, bit by bit are mysterious sands."

Section 3.9 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Environment"

A monk asked about the environment of Ling Feng. Zhi En replied, "Thousand layers of green hills appear like arranged fruits. Two stripes of green rivers seem to be formed by drawing." The monk asked about the man in the environment, replied, "Obvious yet secret, secret yet obvious."

Section 3.10 Use Stage Answers to the Koan "Still Coming to the Feast?"

A monk asked, "Where did the deceased monk move and transform to?" Chong Hui replied, "The peak of Mount Qian is high and lengthily accumulates greens. The moon over Shu River is bright and the landscape becomes luminescent."

A monk asked Jing Cen, "Where did Nan Quan move and transform to?" Jing replied, "In the family east as a donkey, in the family west as a horse." The monk asked, "What does this mean?" "Want to mount, just mount; want to dismount, just dismount."

Quan Fu replied, "There is no break in a long River. Foam gathered is arbitrarily scattered by the wind." "Still receive the offerings or not?" "Not without." "How?" "The fishing song raises oars, in the valley sounds are heard."

Yang Qi gave a feast in honor of the memorial day of Ci Ming. When the assembly had just gathered, Yan, before the portrait of Ci Ming, put his two fists on his head, drew a line with his sitting mat, made a circle, then burned incense, backed up three steps, prostrated in the female fashion. The First Seat said, "Stop acting strange!" The teacher said, "What's the matter, First Seat?" The First Seat said, "Monk stops acting strange!" Yang said, "A rabbit drinks cow milk."

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