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龐蘊居士 Pang Yun jushi (740-808)
龐居士語錄 Pang jushi yulu

(Rōmaji:) Hō Un koji: Hō koji goroku
(English:) The Recorded Sayings of Layman Pang
(Magyar:) Pang csüsi jülu / Feljegyzések Pang Jün upászakáról

Compiled in 808 by 于頔 Yu Di (?-818) [Jpn.: U Teki]
upászaka = világi buddhista hívő



Erőm bűvös, csodát teszek:
Vizet húzok, fát cipelek.
Terebess Gábor fordítása

Világi Pang versei
Maria Badeaux és Hadházi Zsolt fordítása

PDF: The Recorded Sayings of Layman P'ang pp. 39-98.
Translated by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Yoshitaka Iriya & Dana R. Fraser

Encounter Dialogues and Verses of Layman Pangyun
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha


[P'ang chü-shih yü-lu]
The Recorded Sayings of Layman P'ang; a ninth-century Zen classic
[compiled by Yü Ti] Translated from the Chinese by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Yoshitaka Iriya [and] Dana R. Fraser.
New York, Weatherhill, 1971, 109 p.

Ruth Fuller Sasaki (1883-1967)
Iriya Yoshitaka 入矢義高 (1910-1998)

PDF (no page numbers online!):

Preface pp. 39-43.
The Anecdotes pp. 45-76.
Selected Verses pp. 77-88.
Words of Praise from Later Generations and Two Koans pp. 89-91.
Supplemental Notes pp. 93-98.

Selected Bibliography



Encounter Dialogues and Verses of Layman Pangyun
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha
DOC: Treasury of the Forest of Ancestors

Master Pangyun was born and grew up in Xiangyang city, Hubei, the son of a government official. When his father was transferred to Hengyang in Hunan, the young man joined him, and in this new city he married and had a daughter. Disillusioned with conventional life early on, Pang resisted the bureaucratic life expected of him, and managed to avoid a government post. Instead he devoted himself to spiritual practice, building a hermitage beside his house where he could focus on meditation. As he became more committed to simplicity, and had been joined by his wife in this pursuit, they donated their house to be made into a temple, and moved into the hermitage. Then they loaded all their valuable possessions onto a raft and sank it in a nearby lake. When asked why he didn't just give them away, Pang said that they had been a source of anxiety for him, and an impediment to the way. How could he wish that on someone else?
After this the Pang family began living off a meager income from crafting and selling bamboo utensils in the street. Soon the layman, already in his forties, decided to travel to meet teachers, and he first set off for the Heng Mountains to the north. There he found his way to the practice place of Master Shitou.

Layman Pangyun once asked Master Shitou, “Who is the one who is not attached to the ten thousand things?”
Shitou immediately covered Pang's mouth with his hand. Pang had a deep realization.
The layman stayed on to practice with Master Shitou. One day the master asked him, “Since seeing me what have your daily activities been?”
Pang said, “When you ask about my daily activities I can't open my mouth.”
Shitou said, “Because I know you're like that, I'm asking you.”
Pang said, “How wondrous, how miraculous – chopping wood and carrying water.”

Later Shitou asked weather the layman would like to shave his head, dye his clothes and become a monk, but Pang said, “I want to do what I like,” and he remained a layman.

Eventually Pangyun travelled to Jiangxi to meet Master Ma. He asked his old question, “Who is the one who isn't attached to the ten thousand things?”
Master Ma said, “When you swallow all the water in the West River in one gulp, then I'll tell you.”
Hearing these words, Pang had another liberating awakening, and all his doubts were resolved. He practiced with Mazu for two years, and then continued his travels and encounters with other monks and teachers.
He stayed for awhile on Medicine Mountain with Master Shitou's disciple Master Yaoshan, and also became close friends with another of Shitou's disciples, the irreverent and free-spirited adept Danxia Tianran. Between excursions he would return to his wife and daughter in Hengyang.

Both his wife and daughter had also become deeply devoted to the spiritual path, and all three were eventually recognized for their clear wisdom. The layman was particularly close to his precocious daughter Lingzhao whose sharp wit could often outdo her father.

One day in his hermitage, Layman Pang asked Lingzhao, “An ancient said, 'the bright clarity of the ancestral teacher's mind is the bright clarity of the hundred grass tips.' How do you understand this?”
“Such a venerable elder and yet you talk like this!” admonished Lingzhao.
“Well, what would you say?” asked the layman.
“The bright clarity of the ancestral teacher's mind is the bright clarity of the hundred grass tips,” replied Lingzhao. The layman laughed.

Another time at the hermitage someone asked the layman if the practice of the Way was difficult or easy.
“Difficult, difficult,” said the layman, “like trying to cover a tree in sesame seeds.”
“Easy, easy,” said Pang's wife, “just like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed.”
“Not difficult, not easy,” said Lingzhao, “On the hundred grass tips, the ancestor's meaning.”

One day the lay practitioner Pangyun, who had studied with both Master Shitou and Master Ma, came to visit Master Yaoshan. The master asked him, “What is your understanding of the 'one vehicle'?”
“Everyday I just feed myself,” said Pang. “How should I know about the 'one vehicle'?”
Yaoshan replied, “Then I'd say you've never really seen Master Shitou. Is that true?”
Pang said, “You just drop one thing and pick up another. What kind of skill is that?”
Yaoshan said, “As abbot, I have many affairs to attend to.”
Pang got up to leave. Then Yaoshan said, “Dropping one thing and picking up another is actually quite useful.”
Pang said, “Now I see this question about the 'one vehicle' was skillful after all. I'm afraid I've blundered and it's gotten lost.”
Yaoshan agreed.

Toward the end of his life Pangyun traveled north toward his birthplace of Xiangyang with his beloved daughter Lingzhao, herself now an adept. The two found a cave south of Deer Gate Mountain in Xiang province, and there settled into retreat for the last years of Pangyun's life.


My daily activity is not unusual;
I just remain in spontaneous harmony.
Not grasping or rejecting,
nothing left to assert or oppose.
What use are fancy titles
and expensive clothes of vermilion and purple?
This entire mountain is free
of even a speck of dust.
Supernatural powers and miraculous activity:
fetching water and carrying firewood

Not willing to let go of grasping and rejecting,
In vain you labor studying the spiritual path.
You read the prescription but you don't take the medicine-
How can you be free from your sickness?
Grasp “emptiness” and it turns out to be form;
Grasping form it soon proves impermanent.
Form and emptiness – neither are my possessions;
Sitting erect, I see my native home.

The past is already past-
Don't try to regain it.
The present doesn't stay-
Don't try to grasp it over and over.
The future isn't here yet-
Don't ponder it beforehand.
When the three times are revealed as non-existent,
mind is the same as awakened nature.
To quietly function relying on emptiness-
This is manifesting profound action.
Not even the least phenomena really exists-
Whatever comes to the eye, leave it be.
No rules to be kept, no filth to be cleaned;
With empty mind truly revealed,
All things no longer have birth or death.
When you are like this
The ultimate achievement is finished.

No-greed surpasses charity.
No-delusion surpasses concentration.
No-ill will surpasses morality.
No-self-centered thinking surpasses cultivating connections.
I follow an ordinary person's affairs,
and at night sleep at ease.
In winter I use the fireplace
with the fire that's free of smoke.
I neither fear the dark spirit of misfortune,
nor seek after her sister good luck.
Trusting in the flow, what's needed comes.
We all ride together in the boat of wisdom -
if you have this understanding,
your merit has no bounds.

When the mind's left as is,
the spirit is naturally empty.
Without a need for medicine,
ills disperse of themselves.
When ills disperse,
the jewel in the lotus appears.
Don't worry over affairs,
don't rush around!
The wise, seeing wealth and craving,
know them to be empty illusions.
Food and clothes sustain body and life,
but only for awhile.-
I advise you to learn being as is.
When it's time I move my hermitage and go,
and there's nothing left behind.

Based on translations by Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Yoshitaka Iriya, and Dana Fraser, (with reference to Cheng-Chien Bhikshu [Mario Poceski]) of the records of Layman Pang, originally in the Ancestral Hall Collection (of 952) and the Jingde Era Transmission of the Lamp (of 1004).




The Sayings of Layman P'ang: A Zen Classic of China
Translated by James Green
Shambhala Publications, 2009, 144 p.

P'ang Yun was a simple family man who one day loaded his money and posessions into a boat and sank them in a river, thus freeing himself of material value. He went on to become one of the leading Ch'an Buddhist figures in China.

One of the great classics of Zen, the adventures of a realized layman from China - the sayings and stories contained in this book are charming, msyterious, funny, and an inspiration to spiritual practice for anyone.

Layman Pang (740-808) was a successful merchant with a family who gave up his possessions and wealth in order to study Buddhism. His family adopted the Zen life most enthusiatically, becoming well-versed in Buddhist philosophy themselves, especially his daughter, Ling Zhao, who (from the stories about her) seems to have become an even greater adept than her father. Layman P'ang is the source of one of the most famous sayings in the literature of Chan Buddhism, a joyous statement about the miracle of everyday activities: "How miraculous and wondrous! Hauling water and carrying firewood."

"P'ang the Layman is terrific at pulling the rug from underneath you just at the right time. He is one of the great, wild, exhilarating Zen figures, a pioneer in the adventure of understanding the mind. James Green is one of the very best translators we have, and this book is a classic." John Tarrant

Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi

Layman P'ang continues to be an inspiration and a model within the Zen tradition twelve hundred years after his death, not only because of this colorfttl book you hold in your hands, but also because of what he represents. As a layperson who is regarded as both a living exemplar and a teacher of Zen, he is one of a line of outstanding human beings, men and women, renowned and obscure, stretching from the great contemporary of Shakyamuni Buddha, Virnalakirti, through Hui-neng, the pivotal Sixth Patri¬arch of Zen in China, to those who are reinvigorating Buddhism throughout the East and West in our own time. The very name by which we know him, "Layman P'ang," raises questions that are at least as old as Buddhism itself:

What does it mean to be a layperson in Zen? What is the difference between a person who is ordained and one who is not?

In Buddhism the ceremony of ordination (in Japanese, shukke tokudo) marks the passage from layperson to what we call a monk, nun, or priest, though actually those Western terms do not have the same meanings in the East. Tokudo means "ceremony," and shukke is "leaving home?' But shukke does not just signify leaving one's physical home; it is also the leaving of that comfortable place called the self, and the serving of something greater than ourselves. So one essential difference between being ordained and remaining a layperson is that the primary commitment of the ordained is really to serve others, which entails giving up their own personal comforts. As laypersons we can still commit ourselves to serving others. We can serve our community and the world at large without giving up our physical home or family or vocation. Actually, I think this is a more difficult practice than going off to a monastery and truly living as a monk.

In the West not too many of us so-called monks or priests actually live in monasteries. Most of us trained in Zen centers as residents and had children, families, and, in some cases, a job outside the centers, Most Zen teachers in the West-I wouldn't say all of us-trained and practiced, even as we were ordained, while raising families. That's why way back a long time ago Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, one of the early Japanese pioneers who brought Zen to America, said neither are we priests nor are we laypeople exactly. That's how I myself have felt for the thirty-five years since I received shukke tokudo. I'm not quite a priest, nor am I really a layperson. We are some perhaps indefinable thing that bridges these two worlds. Sometimes i've felt more aligned with the lay aspect and some¬times more with the monastic.

For the last fifteen years or so, I've realized the importance of having not only an ordained lineage but also a lay lineage and laypeople and lay practice-and that if we're going to make any difference in the world, it's going to be as laypeople. And personally, even though I've been ordained for many years now, I feel more like a layperson. I live a lay life. I've had children, I have a mortgage, I have a job, many jobs, and I think that people like Layman P'ang and Vimalakirti are wonderful examples of living as householders and having a practice too.

Layman P'ang himself seems to have spent some time in monasteries studying under great teachers. In the conversations with his ordained friends recorded in this book, even when the subject of ordainment is discussed, he treats the matter lightly and never gives explicit reasons for his choice to remain a layman. From the little we know about his life, it seems fair to say that he found, as we do today, that there are many obstacles in the world that make it difficult to pursue a path, but just because it's difficult doesn't make it impossible, and actually all the difficulties just become grist for the mill. Living a normal lay life while being a practitioner is a beautiful way to practice.

Layman P'ang's example accords with my experience. In my own life the distinction between monk and layperson is really not that relevant. Ever since I first entered the path in 1971, it's always been about clarifying the Way for myself in order to be able to offer clearer teachings and instructions to others, in order to be able to empower others. For the sake of others you feel a responsibility to be as clear as humanly possible. Even though I have given the Buddhist precepts to several hundred people and shukke tokudo to over a hundred, my primary goal is not to create Buddhists. Rather, I believe that we honor and sustain the legacy of our great forebears, lay and ordained alike, by spreading the essence of the buddhadharma to the world, even outside Buddhism. Layman P'ang's example, reflected in this classic book, inspires all of us in helping people to wake up and raise their level of consciousness, and in becoming better and more decent human beings who live and act with wisdom and compassion, rather than out of ignorance and greed and hatred.

March 2008
Kanzeon Zen Center
Salt Lake City, Utah



Világi Pang versei
Maria Badeaux és Hadházi Zsolt fordítása

Az étel és a ruha fenntartja
A testet és az életet,
Azt tanácsolom neked, hogy tanulj meg
Lenni úgy, ahogy vagy.
Mikor itt az ideje
Költöztetem remetelakomat és elmegyek,
Nincs semmi,
Amit hátrahagyhatnék.


A múlt már úgyis múlt.
Ne próbáld visszanyerni.
A jelen nem marad.
Ne próbáld megérinteni.

Pillanatról pillanatra.
A jövő még nem jött el.
Ne gondolkodj róla

Bármi ami megragadja tekinteted
Hagyd meg önmagának.
Nincsenek parancsolatok
Amiket meg kell tartani;
Nincs megtisztítando szenny.

Üres tudattal valóban
Átlátott, a dharmáknak
Nincs életük.

Ha képes vagy ilyennek lenni,
A végső megvalósítást.


Jól ismerve a Buddha utat
A nem-Úton járok
Anélkül, hogy elhagynám
Mindennapi teendőimet.

A feltételekhez kötött és
A név-és-forma,
Mind csupán virágok az égen.

Névtelen és formátlan,
Elhagyom a születést-és-halált.


A mindennapi tevékenységeim nem szokatlanok,
Egyszerűen természetes harmóniában élek velük.
Semmit se megragadva, semmit se elutasítva...
Természetfeletti erő és bámulatos tettek -
Vizet meríteni és tüzifát hordani.


Mikor a tudat békés,
a világ is békés.
Semmi valódi, semmi hiányzó.
Nem ragaszkodva a valósághoz,
nem beleragadva az ürességbe,
nem vagy sem szent, sem bölcs, csak
egy egyszerű ember, ki befejezte munkáját.


Mikor a tudat olyan,
a körülmény is olyan;
Nincs sem valós,
sem valótlan.

Nem törődve létezéssel,
És kötetlenül nemléthez:
Se szent, se bölcs
nem vagy,
Egy köznapi ember,
ki elrendezte ügyeit.

Könnyű, oly könnyű!
Igazi bölcsesség ez az öt halmaz.
A világ tíz iránya ugyanaz
az Egy Jármű.
Alaktalan Tantest
hogy is lehetne kettő!
Ha eldobod a vágyakat,
hogy belépj a Bódhiba,
Hol lesz bármilyen buddha-föld is?

Hogy életed megőrzid,
el kell pusztítanod;
Teljesen elpusztítva
könnyedségben élsz.
Mikor eléred ennek legbelső jelentését,
A vas csónak úszik a vízen.

Az Öreg Pangnak semmi se kell a világból:
Minden üresség benne, még az ülése is, amilye nincsen,
Mert a végső Üresség uralkodik házában;
Mily üres is kincsek nélkül!
Mikor a nap felkelt, Ürességen keresztül sétál,
Mikor a nap lemegy, Ürességben alszik;
Ürességben ülve üres dalait énekli,
És üres dalai az Ürességen át visszhangzanak;
Ne lepődj meg, hogy mily teljesen üres az Üresség,
Mert az Üresség minden Buddha székhelye;
És az Ürességet nem érti meg a világ embere,
De az Üresség az igazi kincs;
Ha azt mondod, nincsen Üresség,
Hatalmas káromlást követsz el a Buddhák ellen.

(Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Yoshitaka Iriya és Dana R. Fraser fordítása alapján)