The Go-i Koans
Tozan Ryokai's
Five Ranks of the Apparent & the Real


Contents


The Song of the Jeweled Mirror Samadhi -- Tozan Ryokai

The teaching of suchness, is given directly,
Through all buddha ancestors,
Now that it's yours, keep it well.

A serving of snow in a silver bowl,
Or herons concealed in the glare of the moon
Apart, they seem similar, together, they're different.
Meaning cannot rest in words,
It adapts itself to that which arises.
Tremble and you're lost in a trap,
Miss and there's always regrets.

Neither reject nor cling to words,
Both are wrong; like a ball of fire,
Useful but dangerous. Merely expressed
In fine language, the mirror will tarnish.

At midnight truly it's most bright
By daylight it cannot still be seen.
It is the principle that regulates all,
Relieving every suffering.

Though it doesn't act it is not without words.
In the most precious mirror
Form meets reflection:
You are not It, but It is all you.

Just as a baby, five senses complete,
Neither going or coming, nor arising or staying,
Babbles and coos: speech without meaning,
No understanding, unclearly expressed.

Six lines make the double li trigram,
Where principle and appearances interact.
Lines stacked in three pairs
Yet transform in five ways.

Like the five flavors of the hyssop plant
Or the five branches of the diamond scepter,
Reality harmonizes subtly just as
Melody and rhythm, together make music.

Penetrate the root and you fathom the branches,
Grasping connections, one then finds the road.
To be wrong is auspicious,
There's no contradiction.

Naturally pure and profoundly subtle,
It touches neither delusion nor awakening,
At each time and condition it quietly shines.

So fine it penetrates no space at all,
So large its bounds can never be measured.
But if you're off by a hair's breadth
All harmony's lost in discord.

Now there are sudden and gradual schools
With principles, approaches so standards arise.
Penetrating the principle, mastering the approach,
The genuine constant continues outflowing.

A tethered horse, a mouse frozen in fear,
Outwardly still but inwardly whirling:
Compassionate sages freed them with teaching.

In upside down ways folks take black for white.
When inverted thinking falls away
They realize mind without even trying.

If you want to follow the ancient path
Then consider the ancients: the buddha,
Completing the path, still sat for ten eons.

Like a tiger leaving a trace of the prey,
Like a horse missing the left hind shoe,
For those whose ability is under the mark
A jeweled footrest and brocaded robe.
For others who still can manifest wonder
There's a house cat and cow.
Yi the archer shot nine of ten suns
From the sky, saving parched crops,
Another bowman hit targets at hundreds of paces:
These skills are small to compare with that in which
Two arrow points meet head on in mid air.
The wooden man breaks into song,
A stone maiden leaps up to dance,
They can't be known by mere thought
Or feelings, so how can they be analyzed?

The minister still serves his lord
The child obeys his parent.
Not obeying is unfilial,
Not serving is a useless waste.

Practicing inwardly, functioning in secret,
Playing the fool, seemingly stupid,
If you can only persist in this way,
You will see the lord within the lord.

Translation by:

Toshu John Neatrour;
Sheng-yen;
Kaz Tanahashi

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The Keiso dokuzi

Hakuin Zenji

Keiso dokuzui
The Five, Ranks of The Apparent and the Real:
The Orally Transmitted Secret Teachings
of the [Monk] Who Lived on Mount To

We do not know by whom the Jeweled-mirror Samadhi was composed. From Sekito Osho, Yakusan Osho, and Ungan Osho, it was transmitted from master to master and handed down within the secret room. Never have [its teachings] been willingly disclosed until now. After it had been transmitted to Tozan Osho, he made clear the gradations of the Five Ranks within it, and composed a verse for each rank, in order to bring out the main principle of Buddhism. Surely the Five Ranks is a torch on the midnight road, a ferry boat at the riverside when one has lost one's way!

But alas! The Zen gardens of recent times are desolate and barren. "Directly-pointing-to-the-ultimate" Zen is regarded as nothing but benightedness and foolishness; and that supreme treasure of the Mahayana, the Jeweled Mirror Samadhi's Five Ranks of the Apparent and the Real, is considered to be only the old and broken vessel of an antiquated house. No one pays any attention to it. [Today's students] are like blind men who have thrown away their staffs, calling them useless baggage. Of themselves they stumble and fall into the mud of heterodox views and cannot get out until death overtakes them. They never know that the Five Ranks is the ship that carries them across the poisonous sea surrounding the rank o f the Real, the precious wheel that demolishes the impregnable prison-house of the two voids. They do not know the important road of progressive practice; they are not versed in the secret meaning within this teaching. Therefore they sink into the stagnant water of sravaka-hood or pratyeka-buddhahood. They fall into the black pit of withered sprouts and decayed seeds. Even the hand of Buddha would find it difficult to save them.

That into which I was initiated forty years ago in the room of Shoju I shall now dispense as the alms giving of Dharma. When I find a superior person who is studying the true and profound teaching and has experienced the Great Death, I shall give this secret transmission to him, since it was not designed for men of medium and lesser ability. Take heed and do not treat it lightly!

How vast is the expanse of the sea of the doctrine, how manifold are the gates of the teaching! Among these, to be sure, are a number of doctrines and orally transmitted secret teachings, yet never have I seen anything to equal the perversion of the Five Ranks, the carping criticism, the tortuous explanations, the adding of branch to branch, the piling up of entanglement upon entanglement. The truth is that the teachers who are guilty of this do not know for what principle the Five Ranks was instituted. Hence they confuse and bewilder their students to the point that even a Sariputra or an Ananda would find it difficult to judge correctly.

Or, could it be that our patriarchs delivered themselves of these absurdi ties in order to harass their posterity unnecessarily? For a long time I wondered about this. But, when I came to enter the room of Shoju, the rhinoceros of my previous doubt suddenly fell down dead... Do not look with suspicion upon the Five Ranks, saying that it is not the directly transmitted oral teaching of the Tozan line. You should know that it was only after he had completed his investigation of Tozan's Verses that Shoju gave his acknowledgment to the Five Ranks

After I had entered Shoju's room and received transmission from him, I was quite was satisfied. But, though I was satisfied, I still regretted that all teachers had not yet clearly explained the meaning of " the reciprocal interpenetration of the Apparent and the Real." They seemed to have discarded the words "reciprocal interpenetration," and to pay no attention whatsoever to them. Thereupon the rhinoceros of doubt once more raised its head.

In the summer of the first year of the Kan'en era (1748-1751), in the midst of my meditation, suddenly the mystery of "the reciprocal interpenetration of the Apparent and the Real " became perfectly clear. It was just like looking at the palm of my own hand. The rhinoceros of doubt instantly fell down dead, and I could scarcely bear the joy of it. Though I wished to hand it on to others, I was ashamed to squeeze out my old woman's stinking milk and soil the monk's mouths with it.

All of you who wish to plumb this deep source must make the investigation in secret with your entire body. My own toil has extended over these thirty years. Do not take this to be an easy task! Even if you should happen to break up the family and scatter the household, do not consider this enough. You must vow to pass through seven, or eight, or even nine thickets of brambles. And, when you have passed through the thickets of brambles, still do not consider this to be enough. Vow to investigate the secret teachings of the Five Ranks to the end.

For the past eight or nine years or more, I have been trying to incite all of you who boil your daily gruel over the same fire with me to study this great matter thoroughly, but more often than not you have taken it to be the doctrine of another house, and remained indifferent to it. Only a few among you have attained understanding of it. How deeply this grieves me! Have you never heard: " The Gates of Dharma are manifold; I vow to enter them all?" How much the more should this be true for the main principle of Buddhism and the essential road of sanzen!

Shoju Rojin has said: "In order to provide a means wher eby students might directly experience the Four Wisdom's, the patriarchs, in their compassion and with their skill in devising expedients, first instituted the Five Ranks." What are the so-called Four Wisdom's? They are the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom, the Universal Nature Wisdom, the Marvelous Observing Wisdom, and the Perfecting-of-Action Wisdom.

Followers of the Way, even though you may have pursued your studies in the Threefold Learning continuously through many kalpas, if you have not directly experienced the Four Wisdoms, you are not permitted to call yourselves true sons of Buddha.

Followers of the way, if your investigation has been correct and complete, at the moment you smash open the dark cave of the eighth or Alaya consciousness, the precious light of the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom instantly shines forth. But, strange to say, the light of the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom is black like lacquer. This is what is called the rank of " The Apparent within the Real."

Having attained the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom, you now enter the rank of "The Real within the Apparent." When you have accomplished your long practice of the jeweled-mirror Samadhi, you directly realize the Universal Nature Wisdom and for the first time enter the state of the unobstructed inter-penetration of Noumenon and phenomena.

But the disciple must not be satisfied here. He himself must enter into intimate acquaintance with the rank of " The Coming from within the Real." After that, by depending upon the rank of " The Arrival at Mutual Integration," he will completely prove the Marvelous Observing Wisdom and the Perfecting-of-Action Wisdom. At last he reaches the rank of " Unity Attained," and, after all, comes back to sit among the coals and ashes."

Do you know why? Pure gold that has gone through a thousand smeltings does not become ore a second time. My only fear is that a little gain will suffice you. How priceless is the merit gained through the step-by-step practice of the Five Ranks of the Apparent and the Real! By this practice you not only attain the Four Wisdoms, but you personally prove that the Three Bodies also are wholly embraced within your own body. Have you not read in the Daijo shogongyo ron: "When the eight consciousnesses are inverted, the Four Wisdoms are produced; when the Four Wisdoms are bound together, the Three Bodies are perfected?" Therefore Sokei Daishi composed this verse:

"Your own nature is provided
With the Three Bodies;
When its brightness is manifested,
The Four Wisdoms are attained."

He also said: "The pure Dharmakaya is your nature; the perfect Sambhogakaya is your wisdom; the myriad Nirmanakayas are your activities."

TOZAN RYOKAI'S VERSES ON THE FIVE RANKS

The Apparent within the Real:
In the third watch of the night
Before the moon appears,
No wonder when we meet
There is no recognition!
Still cherished in my heart
Is the beauty of earlier days.

The rank of "The Apparent within the Real" denotes the rank of the Absolute, the rank in which one experiences the Great Death, shouts "KA!" sees Tao, and enters into the Principle. When the true practitioner, filled with power from his secret study, meritorious achievements, and hidden practices, suddenly bursts through into this rank, " the empty sky vanishes and the iron mountain crumbles." "Above, there is not a tile to cover his head; below, there is not an inch of ground for him to stand on." The delusive passions are non-existent, enlightenment is non-existent, Samsara is non-existent, Nirvana is non-existent. This is the state of total empty solidity, without sound and without odor, like a bottomless clear pool. It is as if every fleck of cloud had been wiped from the vast sky.

Too often the disciple, considering that his attainment of this rank is the end of the Great Matter and his discernment of the Buddha-way complete, clings to it to the death and will not let go of it. Such as this is called it stagnant water " Zen; such a man is called " an evil spirit who keeps watch over the corpse in the coffin." Even though he remains absorbed in this state for thirty or forty years, he will never get out of the cave of the self-complacency and inferior fruits of pratyeka-buddhahood. Therefore it is said: "He whose activity does not leave this rank sinks into the poisonous sea." He is the man whom Buddha called " the fool who gets his realization in the rank of the Real."

Therefore, though as long as he remains in this hiding place of quietude, passivity and vacantness, inside and outside are transparent and his understanding perfectly clear, the moment the bright insight [he has thus far gained through his practice] comes into contact with differentiation's defiling conditions of turmoil and confusion, agitation and vexation, love and hate, he will find himself utterly helpless before them, and all the miseries of existence will press in upon him. It was in order to save him from this serious illness that the rank of " The Real within the Apparent " was established as an expedient.

The Real within the Apparent:
A sleepy-eyed grandam
Encounters herself in an old mirror.
Clearly she sees a face,
But it doesn't resemble her at all.
Too bad, with a muddled head,
She tries to recognize her reflection!

If the disciple had remained in the rank of "The Apparent within the Real," his judgment would always have been vacillating and his view prejudiced. Therefore, the bodhisattva of superior capacity invariably leads his daily life in the realm of the [six] dusts, the realm of all kinds of ever-changing differentiation. All the myriad phenomena before his eyes-the old and the young, the honorable and the base, halls and pavilions, verandahs and corridors, plants and trees, mountains and rivers-he regards as his own original, true, and pure aspect. It is just like looking into a bright mirror and seeing his own face in it. If he continues for a long time to observe everything everywhere with this radiant insight, all appearances of themselves become the jeweled mirror of his own house, and he becomes the jeweled mirror of their houses as well. Eihei has said: "The experiencing of the manifold dharmas through using oneself is delusion; the experiencing of oneself through the coming of the manifold dharmas is satori." This is just what I have been saying. This is the state of " mind and body discarded, discarded mind and body." It is like two mirrors mutually reflecting one another without even the shadow of an image between. Mind and the objects of mind are one and the same; things and oneself are not two. " A white horse enters the reed flowers snow is piled up in a silver bowl."

This is what is known as the jeweled-mirror Samadhi. This is what the Nirvana Sutra is speaking about when i t says: " The Tathagata sees the Buddha-nature with his own eyes." When you have entered this samadhi, " though you push the great white ox, he does not go away"; the Universal Nature Wisdom manifests itself before your very eyes. This is what is meant by the expressions, "There exists only one Vehicle," "the Middle Path," " the True Form," " the Supreme Truth."

But, if the student, having reached this state, were to be satisfied with it, then, as before, he would be living in the deep pit of " fixation in a lesser rank of bodhisattvahood." Why is this so? Because he is neither conversant with the deportment of the bodhisattva, nor does he understand the causal conditions for a Buddha-land. Although he has a clear understanding of the Universal and True Wisdom, he cannot cause to shine forth the Marvelous Wisdom that comprehends the unobstructed interpenetration of the manifold dharmas. The patriarchs, in order to save him from this calamity, have provided the rank of "The Coming from within the Real."

The Coming from within the Real:
Within nothingness there is a path
Leading away from the dusts of the world.
Even if you observe the taboo
On the present emperor's name,
You will surpass that eloquent one of yore
Who silenced every tongue.

In this rank, the Mahayana bodhisattva does not remain in the state of attainment that he has realized, but from the midst of the sea of effortlessness he lets his great uncaused compassion shine forth. Standing upon the four pure and great Universal Vows, he lashes forward the Dharma-wheel of " seeking Bodhi above and saving sentient beings below." This is the so-called "coming-from within the going-to, the going-to within the coming-from." Moreover, he must know the moment of [the meeting of] the paired opposites, brightness and darkness. Therefore the rank of " The Arrival at Mutual Integration " has been set up.

The Arrival at Mutual Integration:
When two blades cross points,
There's no need to withdraw.
The master swordsman
Is like the lotus blooming in the fire.
Such a man has in and of himself
A heaven-soaring spirit.

In this rank, the bodhisattva of indomitable spirit turns the Dharma-wheel of the non-duality of brightness and darkness. He stands in the midst of the filth of the world, "his head covered with dust and his face streaked with dirt." He moves through the confusion of sound and sensual pleasure, buffeted this way and buffeted that. He is like the fire-blooming lotus, that, on encountering the f lames, becomes still brighter in color and purer in fragrance. " He enters the market place with empty hands," yet others receive benefit from him. This is what is called to be on the road, yet not to have left the house; to have left the house, yet not to be on the road." Is he an ordinary man? Is he a sage? The evil ones and the heretics cannot discern him. Even the buddhas and the patriarchs cannot lay their hands upon him. Were anyone to try to indicate his mind, [it would be no more there than] the horns of a rabbit or the hairs of a tortoise that have gone beyond the farthest mountain.

Still, he must not consider this state to be his final resting-place. Therefore it is said, "Such a man has in and of himself a heaven-soaring spirit." What must he do in the end? He must know that there is one more rank, the rank of " Unity Attained."

Unity Attained:
Who dares to equal him
Who falls into neither being nor non-being!
All men want to leave
The current of ordinary life,
But he, after all, comes back
To sit among the coals and ashes.

The Master's verse-comment says:

How many times has Tokuun, the idle old gimlet,
Not come down from the Marvelous Peak!
He hires foolish wise men to bring snow,
And he and they together fill up the well.

The student who wishes to pass through Tozan's rank of " Unity Attained " should first study this verse.

It is of the utmost importance to study and pass through the Five Ranks, to attain penetrating insight into them, and to be totally without fixation or hesitation. But, though your own personal study of the Five Ranks comes to an end, the Buddha-way stretches endlessly and there are no tarrying places on it. The Gates of Dharma are manifold.

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The Three Roads of Tung Shan

(The following explanation is taken from Shigetsu Ein's Funogo san ro, da, shi i rui, a 'Non-talk on the three roads, (three) falls, and four different kinds' (1761). Shigetsu was a Soto Zen master, a Japanese descendant of Ts'ao-Tung Ch'an.)

For innumerable aeons, since there has been self ' this stinking skinbag has been changed from time to time, transformed from place to place, in a thousand conditions, ten thousand forms; who can reach the realm of our fundamental quiescence?

If you get here, you must know this road. 'This road' means while dwelling in the present heap of sound and form, first getting rid of clinging to self, and attaining our former original state of selflessness. And furthermore, you must know that all things have no self. Once person and things are selfless, in your daily activities you walk in the void. This life basically has an undefiled practice and experience; thus would we practice and experience nondefilement. Today you must diligently walk in the void. Walking in the void is not some special art; each day when you go into the hall, you should not chew through a single grain of rice. Not chewing through a single grain of rice means that there is no breaking of the fast or violation of discipline by arousing mindfulness of tasting flavor. This is called traveling the bird's path.

Travel on the bird's path is trackless; when you don't leave your body in the realm of tracklessness, this is the turning point of an ascetic. After you have arrived here and settled here, there is still one road going beyond. This road is not in going or coming; it is what is called 'moss growing in the jade palace.' All the names of the Other Side are temporary names for this. In reality, it is the one road that cannot be touched upon. That is why we say 'hidden.' And 'hidden' is not a matter of giving a name as its meaning; the realm called the hidden road is the realm of no name or meaning. This is why it is said, 'He has no country; he does not abide, dwells in no home.'

To know this and yet be able to not remain here, to be an example for beings, to inspire and lead them, unify and teach them, is called 'extending the hands.' In extending the hands, there is no separate road; it does not transgress the bird's path. Traveling the bird's path by yourself, yet you extend your hands. In the bird's path there is no separate road; knowing the hidden road yourself, you still don't transgress it. Dwelling in the bird's path, you don't sprout horns on your head but always extend your hands.

Thus the three roads are the cause and effect of the great practice; and the cause and effect spreads vast and wide throughout the whole universe.

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Three Kinds of Fall--Ts'ao Shan

(The following sayings are attributed to Ts'ao Shan Pen Chi, a great disciple of Tung Shan, also known as the Former Ts'ao Shan; the remarks in parenthesis may be those of Ts'ao Shan Liao Wu, known as Great Master Hui Hsia, a successor of Pen Chi, known as the second generation Ts'ao Shan. There is a certain amount of confusion as to the authorship of some early Ts'ao-Tung works, but this is totally irrelevant to our purpose.)

An ascetic taking food has three kinds of fall: being a water buffalo is the fall of an ascetic; not accepting food is the fall of the precious; not cutting off sound and form is the fall according to kind. just fall; whose business is this?

(If you want to know, this is going in among different kinds, not approving the business of asceticism, purification, and tranquilization. Therefore the Ancients provisionally used the water buffalo to represent different kinds. But these are different kinds in terms of phenomena, not speech.)

As for different kinds of speech, all speech back and forth is of a kind; that is why Nan Ch'uan said, "Where knowledge cannot reach, just don't speak of it; if you speak of it, then horns will grow on your head. Even if you call it 'thus,' already it has changed. You should just go work among different kinds of beings." Right now you must go into differentiation and speak of the phenomena in differentiation; only when there are no words in your words will you be able to do so. When Nan Ch'uan was ailing, someone asked, "Master, after you die, where will you go?" Ch'uan said, "I'll be a water buffalo at the house of the patron down the mountain." His questioner said, "I want to accompany you, master, but can I?" Ch'uan said, "If you follow me, come with a blade of grass in your mouth."

(These are words of an ascetic transforming himself; therefore he says, 'If you want to approach, come with a blade of grass in your mouth.' To approach intimately is called 'Only nonattachment is worthy of offering.')

He also said, "As for the fall according to kind, right now in the midst of all sounds and forms, to turn oneself around on everything and not fall into gradations is called falling according to kind."

He also said, "As for the fall of the precious, the body of reality and nature of reality are precious things; they too must be turned around-this is the fall of the precious. Right now, the White Ox on Open Ground is the ultimate model of the body of reality; it too must be turned around, so that one may avoid sitting in the region of uniformity with no discrimination. This is also called the business of cutting off offering. If you want to use offerings, you must obtain this food. Thus it is called flavorless flavor, and it is called nonattachment being worthy of offering. All the rest is defiled food; it is not the food of nonattached liberation. Someone asked Pai Chang, 'What is used for food?' Pai Chang said, 'Nonattachment is used for food.' Yun Yen said, 'Do not use flavor for offerings.' Tao Wu said, 'Knowing there exists something to maintain, all is offering.'"

Those who take food from correct livelihood must have all three kinds of fall.

At the time, a monk asked, "Wearing fur and horns-what fall is this? Not accepting food-what fall is this? Not cutting off sound and form-what fall is this?" I said, "Wearing fur and horns is the fall of the ascetic. Not cutting off sound and form is the fall according to kind. Not accepting food is the fall of the precious-this is the fundamental thing; one knows it exists, yet does not grasp it, so it is said, 'fall of the precious.' As for wearing fur and horns, the fall of an ascetic, this is not clinging to the business of asceticism, nor to the states of rewards of all saints. As for not cutting off sound and form, the fall according to kind, because a beginner knows he has his own fundamental thing, when he turns back the light he gets rid of all form, sound, smell, flavor, feel, and ideas, and attains stillness. Thus after he perfects this accomplishment, he does not cling to the six sense fields; falling among them, he is not befuddled, going along with them without hindrance. Therefore it is said, 'The six teachers of outside paths are your teachers; when those teachers fall, you also fall along with them, and thereby can eat.' The food is the food of right livelihood; it is also the fundamental thing. it is just that not being defiled by the perceptive awareness in your six senses is called 'falling'-it is not the same as former fears. One does not even grasp his own concern, the fundamental thing, much less anything else."

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Five States of Lord & Vassal--Ts'ao Shan

The germ of the five states-or positions, ranks--is in the Ts'an T'ung Chi, 'Merging of Difference and Identity,' written by Shih T'ou (700-790), ancestor of the Ts'ao-Tung house. Tung Shan exposed the five states in his Pao Ching San Mei Ke, 'Song of the jewel Mirror Meditation,' and composed a set of poems on the five states of the interrelation of the true/absolute and biased/relative. Ts'ao Shan, who seems to have used the five ranks more than Tung Shan's other disciples, had been a scholar of Confucianism until the age of nineteen and expressed the five states in terms of lord and vassal, or prince and minister. The following is Ts'ao Shan's explanation.)

The absolute state is the realm of emptiness, where there has never been a single thing; the relative state is the realm of form, with myriad forms. The relative within the absolute is turning away from principle and going to phenomena; the absolute within the relative is indifference to phenomena, entering principle. Mutual integration is subtly responding to myriad circumstances without falling into various existences. It is not defiled, not pure, not true, not biased; therefore it is called the empty mysterious great way, the non-grasping true source. The past worthies since time immemorial have esteemed this rank (state of integration) as the most wondrous and most mysterious. You must discern it clearly and thoroughly. The lord is the absolute state, the vassal is the relative state. The vassal turning towards the lord is the absolute within the relative; the lord looking upon the vassal is the relative within the absolute. The way of lord and vassal in harmony is an expression of mutual integration.

  • A monk asked, "What is the lord like?"
  • The master said, "His wondrous virtue is honored throughout the world; his lofty illumination shines through the great void."

  • "What is the vassal like?"
  • "His spiritual activity spreads the holy way; true wisdom benefits living beings."

  • "What is the vassal turning towards the lord?"
  • "Without falling into various dispositions, freezing his feelings he gazes upon the holy countenance."

  • "What is the lord looking at the vassal?"
  • "Although his wondrous countenance doesn't move, the shining of his light is fundamentally without bias."

  • "What is the way of lord and vassal in harmony?"
  • "Comingling, without inside or outside; merging harmoniously, with upper and lower equal."

     

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    Fen Yang--Five States

    Fen Yang Shan Chao, 947-1024, was one of the great ancestors of the Lin Chi house of Ch'an, noteworthy for his development of the kung an as a tool in Ch'an study; one of his points was to show the unity of the essence of Ch'an in the midst of the various methods which had evolved in the streams of Ch'an teaching over the preceding three hundred years.)

    Coming from within the absolute

  • The jewel sword of the diamond king

    Sweeps the skies with a spiritual light;

    It shines freely throughout the world, like a crystal,

    Its clear radiance free of dust.

  • The relative within the absolute (biased within the true)

  • The thunderous roar of cutting dynamism-

    To watch for the sparks and lightning

    Is still dull thinking;

    Hesitate and you are a thousand mountains away.

  • The absolute within the relative (true within the biased)

  • See the wheel-turning king;

    Enforcing the true imperative, with seven regal treasures and a thousand sons.

    Everything accompanies him on the road,

    Still he seeks a golden mirror.

  • Arriving in both (in old tradition, this is arriving in the relative/biased)

  •  A three year old golden lion;

    His teeth and claws are all there-

    All demons and apparitions

    Faint at the sound of his roar.

  • Simultaneous realization of both

  • Great glory is effortless;

    Quit making a wooden ox walk.

    The real one goes through the fire-

    The wonder of wonders of the King of Dharma.

  • Coming from within the absolute is lotus flowers blooming on parched ground--their golden calyxes and silver stems are bathed in jade dewdrops. The eminent monk does not sit on the phoenix pedestal. The relative within the absolute--the moon is bright at midnight, the sun must greet the dawn. The absolute within the relatives: hair tip becomes a huge tree, a drop of water becomes a river. Arriving in both-spirit does not come from heaven or earth; how can heroism depend on the four seasons for its impulse? Simultaneous realization-the jade woman casts the shuttle on the whirring loom, the stone man beats the drum, boom boom.

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    Articles & Links relating to Tozan or the Go-i

    Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi
    Tendo Wanshi & Tozan
    A SOLITARY CLOUD--by Robert Joshin Althouse

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    History of the Goi -- David Oller

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