“Zuigan called out to himself every day, “Master.”
Then he answered himself, “Yes, sir.”
And after that he added, “Become sober.”
Again he answered, “Yes, sir.” And after that he continued. “Do not be decided
by others.” “Yes, sir; yes , sir,” he answered.
Calling the Master within is not
mere introspection, the usual am of which his to understand one’s psychological
motives or evaluate one’s behavior – good or bad. Zunigan’s calling, “Master,”
is calling the universal self, not the moral self. The Master Zuigan calls is
the true self that existed before he was born. – Gyomay Kubose Sensei’s commentary.
Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.
Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting.
Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written to her, she said: “If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now.”
One day, some people came to the master and asked: ‘How can you be so happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness and death?’ The master held up a glass and said: ‘Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly.’
[ 21x27.5cm, sumi ink on printer paper, finished in photoshop ]
011: The artist cleans her brushes and packs up her easel as clouds gather overhead. Then: she is standing in front of a fresh paper, about to grind the day’s first ink, sky as airy as a summer’s morning. She paints her fill, until the light fades. Rainclouds fill the horizon. Then: she lays the brush to the canvas for the first time, holding her sunhat against a sudden wind that has sprung up. The gate to the garden, unlatched, knocks in the breeze. The dog is quiet. The fox has gone. Her fingers are on her hands. Something has gone terribly wrong.
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no relaization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”
Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.
“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”
[ 15x10cm, acrylic ink on index card, finished in photoshop ]
010: On the crown of the mountain, birds call through the pine boughs. The day is quiet and soft. The artist listens to the whispering breeze that passes through her enso. It asks her for something. She looks down at her hands. She’s not willing to give up a finger for enlightenment. She’s not willing to give up anything at all. The gate between worlds remains firmly closed.