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投子義青 Touzi Yiqing (1032-1083) & 林泉從倫 Linquan Conglun (n.d.)
空谷集 Konggu ji

(Rōmaji:) Tōsu Gisei & Rinsen Jūrin: Kūkoku shū
(English:) Empty Valley Collection
(Translated by Thomas Cleary)
(Magyar:) A kietlen völgy gyűjteménye (Terebess Gábor fordítása)


100 koans with appended verses by Touzi Yiqing, commentary by Linquan Conglun

Linquan Conglun 林泉從倫 (n.d.) was a dharma heir of Wansong Xingxiu 萬松行秀 (1166–1246), the master at the temple Bao'en si 寶恩寺 in Yanjing 燕京 (present-day Beijing), and served as Wansong's successor at Bao'en si upon the latter's death. In 1268 he was invited to the court to lecture on Buddhism. A famous leader of the Caodong school, Linquan was the compiler of the koan commentaries Konggu ji 空谷集 (Empty valley anthology) and Xutang ji 虛堂集 (Empty hall anthology).

X1303 林泉老人評唱投子青和尚頌古空谷集








Two Public Cases from
the Empty Valley Collection

Translated by Thomas Cleary
Timeless Spring: A Soto Zen anthology. Weatherhill, Tokyo-New York, 1980, pp. 76-82.

巴陵顥鑑 Baling Haojian [Haryō Kōkan] (1025-1072)



A wooden horse neighs in the wind, a clay ox bellows at
the moon. In the midst of speechlessness, yet it is possible
to be talkative; how should one speak of where it is
beyond right and wrong, apart from sameness and


A monk asked Master Haojian of Baling, "Are the meaning
of the patriarchs and the meaning of the teachings the
same or different?" He replied, "When chickens are cold
they roost in the trees; when ducks are cold they go into
the water."


When chan master Haojian of Xinkai monastery in Baling,
Yue province, first came to Yunmen, Yunmen said,
"Master Xuefeng said, 'Bodhidharma's come!' I ask you,
what about it?" The master said, "Right under your nose."
Yunmen said, "The earth spirit rages up, hits Mount
Sumeru, leaps up to the brahma heaven, and smashes
Indra's nose; why do you hide in Japan?" He said, "Master,
don't fool people." Yunmen said, "Right under my nose -
what about that?" The master had nothing to say; Yunmen
said, "I knew you were a student of words."
After the Master was dwelling in a monastery as a
teacher, he didn't write a document of succession; he just
presented three pivotal words to Yunmen: a monk asked
what the way is, and the master said, "A clear-eyed man
falls into a well;" a monk asked what the 'hair-blown
word' is, and the master said, "Each branch of coral supports
the moon;" a monk asked what the sect of Kanadeva
is, and the master said, "Piling snow in a silver bowl."
Yunmen said, "Later on, on the anniversary of my death,
you only need to quote these three pivotal words to sufficiently
requite my kindness." Subsequently, at memorial
services, he actually did thus, as he had been instructed. I
say, you should know that the giving of Dharma is inexhaustible:
requital of virtue and benevolence extends over past
and present.
A monk asked, "Are the meaning of the patriarchs and
the meaning of the teachings the same or different?" This
monk was very much like picking the moon out of the sky
or gold out of sand; in the realm of real purity he created
something where there was nothing. After all it was truly
said, "Old Xinkai - he's clearly special" - He not only
says, "Piling snow in a silver bowl," he also is able to
know that chickens and ducks each have their own resting
place. What a pity that he causes people to grope without
finding where cold and exhausted, dry and deserted.
Clearly the patriarchs' meaning and the teachings' meaning
are imparted to Touzi, and he sticks them together before
the crowd. His verse says,


Same or different from the meaning of the patriarchs - he asks about the origin,
So he uses the fundamental value to give him an answer.
An imperial command; the night quiet, a man lets down a hook -
At dawn he takes in the sun together with the moon.


Producing understanding from hearing, coloring in the
mind; the auspicious grass is rootless, the wise don't
esteem it.
As Luopu was standing by Linji, a lecturing monk
came to call on Linji; Linji asked, "There is one man
who attains understanding from the teachings of the
three vehicles, and there is one man who doesn't attain
understanding from the teachings of the three vehicles;
tell me, are these two men the same or different?" The
lecturer said, "If they understand, they're the same; if
they don't understand, they're different." Linji looked at
Luopu and said, "What about you?" Luopu immediately
When Yunmen came to Chekiang, prime minister
Chen invited him to a meal; as soon as he saw Yunmen,
he immediately asked him, "I do not ask about what is
in the confucian writings, and the canonical teachings of
the three vehicles have their own professors; what is the
business of a patchrobed monk's pilgrimage?" Yunmen
said, "How many people have you asked?" He said, "I
am asking you right now." Yunmen said, "Leaving
aside 'right now,' what is the meaning of the teachings?"
Chen said, "Yellow scrolls, red rollers." Yunmen
said, "These are written words - what is the meaning
of the teachings?" Chen said, "When the mouth wants
to talk about it, words disappear; when the mind wants
to grasp it, thought vanishes." Yunmen said, " 'When
the mouth wants to talk about it, words disappear' deals
with maintaining verbalization; 'when the mind seeks
to grasp it, thought vanishes' deals with false conceptualization
- what is the meaning of the teaching?" The
prime minister was speechless. Yunmen said, "I've
heard that you've read the Lotus scripture - is this true
or not?" He said, "It is." Yunmen said, "In the scripture
it says, 'All productive labor is not contrary to the
character of reality' - tell me, in the heaven beyond
perception and nonperception, how many people regress
from that state?" The minister was speechless.
Yunmen said, "Don't be so careless; even the three
greatest scriptures and five classic treatises are given up
by monks to specially enter Chan monasteries. Even
after ten or twenty years, they still can't do anything -
how could you understand, prime minister?" The minister
bowed and said, "I am at fault." I say, shame and
fear in a bronze face, tolerance on a tin spear.
Now tell me, are the answers of Luopu and Yunmen
and the answer of Baling one kind of reimbursement or
two kinds? Can you pin it down? Now entering a new
market, let the cashier discuss short and long. The old
fellow of Baling rowed out into the still waters of the
clear source and let down a hook; he didn't mind if the
water was cold in the quiet of night - how could he
fear the empty boat carrying the moon? If you know that
for the chickens and ducks there is no seeking, you naturally
won't be in a rush looking up and down for them.


藥山惟儼 Yaoshan Weiyan [Yakusan Igen] (745–828)


The four eyes are undimmed; the six thieves surrender.
Having seen the year of Great Peace in a forest of spears and
shields, you find the land of purity in a pile of rubbish.
Would you believe it is fundamentally inherent? How could
you know it is not sought from another? Stealing leisure in
the midst of hurry, how can you understand verbally?


Yaoshan asked novice Gao, "I hear that Changan is very
noisy." The novice said, "My province is peaceful."
Yaoshan joyfully said, "Did you realize this from reading
scriptures, or from making inquiries?" The novice said, "I
didn't get it from reading scriptures or from making inquiries."
Yaoshan said, "Many people do not read scriptures
or make inquiries - why don't they get it?" The
novice said, "I don't say they don't get it - it's just that
they don't agree to take it up."


When novice Gao first called on Yaoshan, Yaoshan asked
him, "Where do you come from?" He said, "From
Nanyue." Yaoshan asked, "Where are you going?" He
said, "To Jiangling to receive the precepts." Yaoshan said,
"What is the aim of receiving precepts?" He said, "To
escape birth and death." Yaoshan said, "There is someone
who doesn't receive the precepts and has no birth and
death to escape - do you know?" He said, "Then what is
the use of the buddha's precepts?" Yaoshan said, "This
novice still has lips and teeth." The novice bowed and
withdrew. Daowu came and stood by Yaoshan; Yaoshan
said to him, "That limping novice who just came, after all
has some life in him." Daowu said, "He's not to be entirely
believed yet - you should test him again first."
When evening came, Yaoshan went up into the hall; he
called, "Where is the novice who came earlier?" Novice
Gao came forth from the assembly and stood there;
Yaoshan said, "I hear Changan is very noisy; do you
know, or not?" The novice said, "My province is peaceful."
Fayan said, as an alternative reply, "Who told you?"
Yaoshan, seeing that the novice's reply had some basis,
again asked, "Did you realize this from reading scriptures,
or from making inquiries?" The novice didn't fall into his
cage at all; he said, "I didn't get it from reading scriptures
or from making inquiries." Yaoshan saw that he couldn't
entrap him; using another living road of action, again he
said accusingly, "Many people don't read scriptures or
make inquiries - why don't they get it?" The novice's
whole body was hands and eyes - he wouldn't be tied up
or overthrown; he said, "I don't say they don't get it - it's
just that they don't agree to take it up." At this point, the
cart couldn't be pushed sideways, principle could not be
decided crookedly; Yaoshan looked back at Daowu and
Yunyan and said, "Didn't you believe what I said?" We
might say that to surpass the crowd one must be an out-
standing spirit, conquering enemies is a matter for a lion.
If you can see through here, only then can you truly say
that you are desireless in the midst of desires, unstained
while dwelling in the dusts, going through a thicket of a
hundred kinds of flowers without a single petal getting on
you. If you can forget both clamor and silence, you will
surely understand the simultaneous realization of absolute
and relative. At this point, how should one judge?


Flourishing, perishing; clouds go, clouds come.
He has no country, is utterly free from dust.
On the peak of Mount Sumeru, rootless plants;
Without feeling the spring breeze, the flowers bloom of themselves.


(Raising a yellow flower,) Worldly affairs - clouds going
through a thousand changes; evanescent life - a scene
in a dream. Although this is momentarily conveying elation,
expressing feelings, there is a deep reason to it. If
you are able to act in accordance with what you say, so
that mind and mouth are not two, if you can see through
here, you will not be fooled by myriad objects - what
gain and loss, right and wrong, prosperity and decline,
success and defeat can fetter you?
Fengxue said, "If you set up a single atom, the country
flourishes and the peasants frown. If you do not set up a
single atom, the country perishes and the peasants rest
easy." All at once cutting off the setting up and not setting
up, what flourishing or perishing can remain? This
is all leftovers of inherent emptiness, floating flowers in
the eye of the Way. Although coming and going leaves
no traces, what about ignorance becoming an obstacle to
vision? Just realizing pure spotless clarity, free of even a
fine hair, in the echoless mountains you meet a legless
stone man, and on top of Mount Sumeru pick rootless
auspicious plants. I hope without depending on the
spring breeze the fragrance will fill the world; I ask chan
followers who have the eye to try to come appreciate it.
Do you see? Spiritual sprouts grow where there is land;
great enlightenment does not keep a teacher.



The Empty Valley Collection
Translated by Thomas Cleary

Citations of the first fifty cases

1. Stages

Master Si asked the Sixth Grand Master, “What must be done in order to be able not to fall into stages?”

The grand master said, “What have you done?”

Si said, “I don’t even do the holy truths.”

The grand master said, “What stage do you fall into?”

Si said, “If even the holy truths are undone, what stages are there to fall into?”

The grand master said, “So true, so true. Keep it carefully. I will put it in verse:

The ground of mind contains seeds:
When it rains everywhere, they all sprout.
When suddenly enlightened, fancy feelings cease:
The fruit of enlightenment matures of itself


2. Not Only Caoqi

Shitou came to Master Si’s place.

Si asked, “Where are you coming from?”

Shitou said, “I’ve come from Caoqi.”

Si then held up a fly whisk and said, “In Caoqi, is there this?”

Shitou said, “Not just Caoqi; it’s not even in India.”

Si said, “You haven’t been to India, have you?”

Shitou said, “If I went, it would be there.”

Si said, “Not yet—say more.”

Shitou said, “Don’t depend entirely on me—you should say a half too.”

Si said, “I don’t decline to tell you, but I fear later on no one would accept it.”


3. Roaming the Mountains

Yaoshan was roaming the mountains with Yunyan.

The sword at his side made noise.

Yunyan said, “What is making that sound?”

Yaoshan immediately drew the sword and abruptly made a chopping gesture.


4. The Deepest Depth

A monk asked Daowu, “Master, what is your deepest point?”

Daowu got off his meditation bench, curtseyed, and said, “Thank you for coming from afar, but there’s nothing to entertain you with.”


5. Yunyan calls on Yaoshan

When Yunyan first called on Yaoshan, Yaoshan asked, “Where are you coming from?”

Yunyan said, “Baizhang.”

Yaoshan asked, “What sayings does Baizhang have?”

Yunyan said, “Sometimes he says a single statement contains all hundred flavors.”

Yaoshan said, “Savory is savory, bland is bland; neither savory nor bland is the flavor of the ordinary. What is the statement containing all hundred flavors?”

Then he said, “What about present birth and death?”

Yunyan said, “There is no birth and death present.”

Yaoshan said, “Twenty years with Baizhang, and yet your mundane mentality is still not gone.”

Yaoshan then asked, “What other teachings does elder brother Hai [Baizhang] expound?”

Yunyan said, “Sometimes he says, ‘See outside the three statements, understand outside the six statements.’”

Yaoshan said, “Three thousand miles away, happily there’s no connection.”

Yaoshan then asked, “What else does he teach?”

Yunyan said, “Once, after an address, as the crowd was leaving the hall he called them back. When the crowd turned their heads, he said, “What is it?”

Yaoshan said, “Why didn’t you say so before!”

Yunyan had insight at these words.


6. Jiashan and the Boatman

Jiashan called on the Boatman.

The Boatman asked, “Letting down a line a thousand feet, the intent is in the depths; a tongue’s length away from the hook, why don’t you speak?”

As Jiashan was about to open his mouth, the boatman knocked him into the water. As he was getting out, the Boatman hit him again.

The Boatman said, “Play as you will with the line on the rod; without invading the pure waves, the intent is inherently distinct.”

Jiashan proceeded to ask, “What is your purpose in casting line and hook?”

The Boatman said, “The purpose is ‘with the line hanging in the clear water, the float determines whether or not anything’s there.’ Speak up, speak up!”

Jiashan said, “The words are imbued with mystery but go nowhere; the tongue talks without talking.”

The Boatman said, “I’ve fished all the river waves, and this is the first time I’ve come across one with golden scales.”

Jiashan covered his ears.

The Boatman said, “Right!”


7. My Province is Peaceful

Yaoshan asked Novice Gao, “I hear the capital city is really bustling.”

The novice said, “My province is peaceful.”

Yaoshan said joyfully, “Did you get it from reading scripture, or from making inquires?”

The novice said, “I didn’t get it from reading scriptures or from making inquiries.”

Yaoshan said “Lots of people don’t read scripture and don’t make inquiries—why don’t they get it?”

The novice said, “I wouldn’t say they don’t get it, just that they won’t take responsibility for it.”


8. A Monk Questions Shishuang

A monk asked Shishuang, “What is your deepest profundity?”

Shishuang said, “A lock without a spring wiggles both ways.”


9. The Purpose of the Founder

A monk asked Dongshan, “What was the purpose of the Founding Teacher in coming from the West?”

Dongshan said, “I’ll tell you when the Dong River flows backward.”


10. An Answer about Buddha

A monk asked Jiashan, “What is Buddha?”

Jiashan said, “Here there is no guest or host.”

The monk said, “Who do you usually talk to?”

Jiashan said, “Manjusri’s carrying water for me; Samantabhadra hasn’t cut the flowers yet.”


11. Myriad Doors All Open

Master Yungai asked Shishuang, “I don’t ask about myriad doors all being closed; how is it when myriad doors are all open?”

Shihshuang said, “What’s going on inside?”

Yungai had no reply. Only after half a year was he able to say, “No one can meet him.”

Shishuang said, “That’s saying quite a bit, but it only says eighty percent.”

Yungai said, “What about you, master?”

Shishuang said, “No one can know him.”


12. Coloring

A monk asked Jiufeng, “Why can’t painting with a single brush depict Master Zhi’s true likeness?”

Jiufeng said, “But Sengyao acknowledged master Zhi.”

The monk said, “I wonder who vouches for Sengyao.”

Jiufeng said, “A black turtle bows its head to the pillars of the polar mountain.”


13. Affirmation and Negation

A monk asked Shaoshan, “Where affirmation and negation do not reach, is there any statement or not?”

Shaoshan said, “There is.”

The monk asked, “What is the statement?”

Shaoshan said, “A bit of white cloud doesn’t show ugliness.”


14. The Founder’s Purpose

A monk asked Liangshan, “What was the purpose of the founding teacher in coming from the West?”

Liangshan said, “Don’t speak out of order.”

15. The Stone Tortoise

A monk asked Longya, “What was the purpose of the founding teacher coming from the West?”

Longya said, “When a stone tortoise can speak, then I’ll tell you.”


16. Peach Blossoms

Lingyun became enlightened on seeing peach blossoms.


17. Description of the Monument of the National Teacher

Emperor Suzong asked National Teacher Zhong, “After you pass away, what will you need?”

He said, “Make me a seamless stupa.”

The emperor said, “I request of the master a description of the stupa.”

The teacher remained silent for a good while, then said, “Does Your Majesty understand?”

The emperor said, “I don’t understand.”

The teacher said, “I have communicated the teaching to Danyuan; he is an expert in this matter. Please call him and ask him.”


18. Drinking up West River

Layman Pang asked great master Ma, “Who is it that does not associate with myriad things?”

The master said, “When you can drink up the water of the West River in one mouthful, then I’ll tell you.”


19. A Monk Questions Changsha

A monk asked Changsha, “Does the original human become a Buddha?”

Changsha said, “You tell me—does the emperor of all China cut grass?”


20. Yunyan and Nanquan

Daowu went with Yunyan to Nanquan’s place.

Nanquan asked, “What is your name?”

Daowu said, “Zongzhi,” which means knowledge of the source.

Nanquan said, “Where knowledge doesn’t reach, how can that be a source?”

Daowu said, “I avoid speaking of it altogether.”

Nanquan said, “Clearly, if you speak of it, horns grow on your head.”

Another day Daowu and Yunyan were doing some sewing. Nanquan passed by; seeing them, he again posed the question, “Ascetic Daowu, the other day it was said that where knowledge doesn’t reach is not to be spoken of, for if you speak of it horns grow on your head. How should one put it into practice?” Daowu got right up and went into the common hall.


21. Drinking Tea

As soon as Zhaozhou saw a monk coming, he asked, “Have you ever been here?”

The monk said, “Never.”

Zhaozhou said, “Go drink tea.”

Again he asked a monk, “Have you ever been here?”

The monk said, “Yes.”

Zhaozhou said, “Go drink tea.”


22. A Turtle

As master Dasui and a monk were walking along, they saw a turtle.

The monk asked, “All creatures have their bones inside their skin; why does this creature have its skin inside its bones?”

Dasui placed a straw sandal on the turtle’s back.

The monk was speechless.


23. Nanquan Kills a Cat

At Nanquan’s there were senior monks in both halls arguing ceaselessly over a cat.

Nanquan took the high seat, held up the cat, and said, “If you can speak, I won’t kill it.”

No one answered.

Nanquan thereupon got rid of the cat.

It was night time before Zhaozhou got there.

Nanquan told him the foregoing story.

Zhaozhou took off one of his straw sandals, put it on his head, and left.

Nanquan said, “If you had come earlier, you’d have saved the cat.”


24. Living in the Mountains

A monk asked Yunju Hongjiao, “What is the ultimate purpose of monkhood, after all?"

Yunju said, “Better live on a mountain.”


25. Burning a Buddha

One day when it was freezing cold, master Danxia lodged at a temple he was passing by. He took a wooden statue of an arhat from the shrine and made a fire with it. The abbot of the temple was so angry his eyebrows fell out.

Touzi cited this and said, “Not knowing how to be a guest makes trouble for the host.”


26. A Chicken Roosts in a Phoenix Nest

When Luopu first called on Jiashan, Jiashan said, “A chicken roosting in a phoenix nest is not the same species—get out.”

Luopu said, “I’ve come from afar for your way; please deal with me.”

Jiashan said, “There’s no you there, and no me here.”

Luopu thereupon shouted.

Jiashan said, “Now don’t be careless and hasty; you should know clouds and moon are the same, while valley and mountain differ. It’s not that you can’t cut off the tongue of everyone on earth, but how can you make a tongueless person speak?”

Luopu had nothing to say.

Jiashan thereupon hit him.

Touzi, citing this, said, “When you get here, how can you make a statement expressing the same experience, an extension of the same spirit?” Then he answered himself, “A pair of embroidered phoenixes without eyes soar into the void, passing through the blue sky.”


27. Buddha

A monk asked Sushan, “What is Buddha?”

Sushan said, “Why don’t you ask about old Sushan?”


28. Returning to the Root and Getting the Essence

A monk asked master Chongyun “What is returning to the root and getting the essence?”

Chongyun said, “Having forgotten already, not recalling worldly life.”


29. The Realm of Jiashan

A monk asked Jiashan, “What is the realm of Jiashan?”

Jiashan said, “A monkey embracing her young goes back behind the green peaks; a bird with a flower in its beak alights before the blue cliff.”


30. Emerging in the World

A monk asked Caoshan, “What is it like before a Buddha emerges in the world?”

Caoshan said, “I do not compare.”

The monk asked, “What about after emerging in the world?”

Caoshan said, “Not comparable to me.”


31. Nowhere to Hide

A monk asked Yunju, “Where there is nothing to learn at all, how does one become established?”

Yunju said, “There is no place to be established.”

The monk said, “Why bother to do Buddhist service?”

Yunju said, “It’s not the same as producing an enlightening influence.”


32. The Ancient Tune

A monk asked Fengxue, “The ancient tune has no notes—how can one harmonize?”

Fengxue said, “A wooden rooster crows at midnight, a straw dog howls at dawn.”


33. The Fire Ending the Eon

A monk asked Touzi, “How is it when the fire ending the eon blazes?”

Touzi said, “Terribly cold.”


34. Enlightenment

Master Mi Hu had a monk ask Yangshan, “Do people nowadays need enlightenment or not?”

Yangshan said, “It’s not that there’s no enlightenment, but how can they help falling into the secondary?”

Mi Hu deeply agreed with this.

Touzi, citing this, said, “While Yangshan is right in saying this, can he escape falling himself? If he can escape, there is someone else who still greatly disagrees. If he cannot escape, he too falls into the secondary. As for Mi Hu, while he agreed with him, did he himself have his own way out? You people try to check. If you can find out, both men are liberated. If you can’t find out, for now don’t be hasty.”


35. There Was a Saying

Jingqing asked Xuefeng, “A man of old had a saying…”

Xuefeng immediately fell over prostrate. After a while he got up and said, “What did you ask?”

Jingqing asked again.

Xuefeng said, “Here’s a guy who lives in vain and dies uselessly.”


36. Yunmen and Mingjiao

One day Yunmen asked Mingjiao, “How many biscuits have you eaten today?”

Mingjiao said, “Five.”

Yunmen said, “How many have the pillars eaten?”

Mingjiao said, “Please have tea in the tea room.”


37. Six Doors

A monk asked Yunju, “How is it when the six doors are not illuminated?”

Yunju said, “Not involved in objects.”

The monk said, “What is beyond?”

Yunju said, “The careful are not guarded.”


38. Fengxue and Huanglong

When Fengxue first went to Huanglong, Huanglong asked, “Rock edges pierce the road through the clouds; what is the sense of the hanging vines?”

Fengxue said, “Red haze cages the jade icon; enveloping the soaring mountains, it lights up the river plain.”

Huanglong said, “They come together.”

Fengxue said, “Master, lower your voice.”


39. Xuefeng and Nanji

When master Xuefeng escorted Elder Nanji out, he curtseyed like a woman.

Yunji folded his hands and said, “Yes, yes.”

Xuefeng shaded his eyes with his hand, [as if to gaze into the distance], then went back.


40. The Great Man Does Not Get Up

When the great man Fu met the emperor of Liang, he didn’t get up.

A court minister asked, “Why didn’t you get up when you met the emperor?”

The great man said, “If the ground of reality were to move, all would be insecure.”

Touzi cited this and said, “Yes, but to stabilize a nation and settle disorder actually depends on someone reliable; to set up the teaching and clarify the source, it is necessary to rely on an adept. But if opportunities are not engaged fittingly, faults fill the sky. If powerful function is incomplete, civilizing influence is reduced by half. If you rely on taking the high to the low, then a withered tree has a powerful pulse. If you keep your legs crossed to the end, then the sadness will be the same over ten thousand miles.”


41. Familiarity

A monk asked Shoushan, “What is a student to be familiar with?”

Shoushan said, “When the fifth nine-day period of the lunar year is ended, again we meet the spring.”

The monk said, “What about the ultimate?”

Shoushan said, “When winter’s gone, Cold Food is on the 105th day.”


42. Cake

A monk asked Yunmen, “What is talk transcending Buddhas and transcending masters?”

Yunmen said, “A cake.”


43. What is Personally Communicated

A monk asked Xuansha, “What is personally communicated?”

Xuansha said, “I am a son of the Xie family.”


44. Gapped Teeth Grow Fuzz

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the meaning of the founding teacher’s coming from the West?”

Zhaozhou said, “Gapped teeth grow fuzz.”


45. The Jewel of Reality

A monk asked master Yong of Yangshan, “What is the jewel of the reality-body?”

Yong said, “The shrikes haven’t stopped chattering in the branches—how would phoenixes stay with them?”


46. Gazing at the Mountains in Daytime

A monk asked Yunmen, “What was the intention of the founding teacher’s coming from the West?”

Yunmen said, “Gazing at the mountains in daytime.”


47. A Dragon Lodging in a Phoenix Nest

Jiashan was chief cook at Guishan’s.

Guishan asked, “What vegetables are we going to eat today?”

Jiashan said, “Two years share one spring.”

Guishan said, “Do a good job, Tiger.”

Jiashan said, “A dragon is lodging in a phoenix nest.”


48. Chickens and Ducks

A monk asked master Baling, “Are the meaning of the masters and the meaning of the teachings the same or different?”

Baling said, “When chickens are cold, they roost in the trees; when ducks are cold, they dive into the water.”


49. Ordinary and Saintly

A monk asked Touzi, “How far apart are the ordinary and the saintly?”

Touzi got off his meditation seat and stood.


50. Asking Zhaozhou the Way

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the way?”

Zhaozhou said, “The one outside the city wall.”

The monk said, “I’m not asking about this way.”

Zhaozhou said, “What way are you asking about?”

The monk said, “The Great Way.”

Zhaozhou said, “The great way goes to the capital.”




空谷集 A kietlen völgy gyűjteménye
Terebess Gábor fordítása

三雲巖遊山(刀劒) 3. Bebarangolni a hegyeket

Jao-san mester a hegyekben barangolt tanítványával, Jün-jennel.
Egyszer csak megcsörrent oldalán a kard.
— Mi ez a zaj? — kérdezte Jün-jen.
Jao-san élből kirántotta a kardját és suhintott vele egyet.

Jao-san Vej-jen (745-828) > 藥山惟儼 Yaoshan Weiyan > [Rōmaji: Yakusan Igen]
Jün-jen Tan-seng (780-841) > 雲巖曇晟 Yunyan Tansheng > [Rōmaji: Ungan Donjō]


四道吾深深(禮拜) 4. A legmélyebb mélység

Egy szerzetes kérdőre vonta Tao-vu mestert :
Mondd, mi a te legmélyebb szempontod?
Tao-vu leszállt a magas székéből, ünnepélyesen meghajolt, majd azt mondta:
Köszönet illet a látogatásodért, de itt semmi sincs, amivel elszórakoztassalak.

Tien-huang Tao-vu (748–807) > 天皇道悟 Tianhuang Daowu > [Rōmaji: Tennō Dogō]


九洞山祖意(祖教) 9. Az alapító célja

Egy szerzetes faggatta Tung-san mestert:
Mi végre jött ide alapító mesterünk nyugatról?
Majd elmondom, mikor a Tung-folyóban visszafelé folyik a víz! válaszolta Tung-san.

Tung-san Liang-csie (807-869 ) > 洞山良价 Dongshan Liangjie > [Rōmaji: Tōzan Ryōkai]
alapító: Bódhidharma (?-532) > 菩提達磨 Puti Damo > [Rōmaji: Bodai Daruma]


十三韶山是非 (風雲) 13. Állítás és tagadás

Egyszer egy szerzetes Sao-sanhoz fordult:
— Lehet-e olyat mondani, ami nem is helyes, nem is helytelen?
— Lehet bizony.
— Mi lenne az?
— Egy fehér felhőn semmi se rút — válaszolt Sao-san.

Sao-san Huan-pu (786/804-882/931) > 韶山寰普 Shaoshan Huanpu > [Rōmaji: Shōzan Kanfu]


十四梁山祖意(祖教) 14. Az alapító célja

Egy szerzetes faggatta Liang-san mestert:
— Mi végre jött ide alapító mesterünk nyugatról?
Ha szólsz, ne hibázz! — válaszolta Liang-san.

Liang-san Jüan-kuan (?-?) > 粱山緣觀 Liangshan Yuanguan > [Rōmaji: Ryōzan Enkan]
alapító: Bódhidharma (?-532) > 菩提達磨 Puti Damo > [Rōmaji: Bodai Daruma]


十五龍牙烏龜(祖教) 15. A kőteknős

Egy szerzetes faggatta Lung-ja mestert:
Mi végre jött ide alapító mesterünk nyugatról?
Majd elmondom, mikor megszólal a kőteknős! válaszolta Lung-ja.

Lung-ja Csü-tun (835-923 ) > 龍牙居遁 Longya Judun > [Rōmaji: Ryūge Koton]


十六靈雲桃花(花果) 16. Viráglátás

Ling-jün egy virágba borult őszibarackfa látványától világosult meg.

Ling-jün Cse-csin megvilágosodás-verse:

„Mester kardját kerestem harminc évig,
Hullt a levél, fakadt a rügy hányszor,
Ám barackfa virágát néztem egyszer,
És többé nem gyötör a kétség.”

Ling-jün Cse-csin (?-?) > 霊雲志勤 Lingyun Zhiqin > [Rōmaji: Reiun Shikin]


二十一趙州喫茶(茶湯) 21. Igyál teát

Csao-csou az új szerzeteseket fogadta:
— Jártál már itt? — kérdezte az egyiket.
— Igen.
— Gyere, igyál egy csésze teát!
Aztán egy másikhoz fordult:
— Jártál már itt?
— Még nem.
— Gyere, igyál egy csésze teát!

Csao-csou Cung-sen (778-897) > 趙州從諗 Zhaozhou Congshen > [Rōmaji: Jōshū Jūshin]


二十二大隨烏龜(龜魚) 22. A teknősbéka

Egy teknősbéka tévedt a kolostor udvarára.
— Minden teremtés a csontját fedi bőrrel, ez miért fedi a bőrét csonttal? — kérdezte egy szerzetes.
Ta-szuj levette a gyékénybocskorát, és befedte vele a teknőc páncélját.
A szerzetes elnémult.

Ta-szuj Fa-csen (878-963) > 大隨法真 Dasui Fazhen > [Rōmaji: Taizui Hōshin]


二十三南泉斬猫(猫犬) 23. Nan-csüan macskát öl

Egyszer a Nyugati és a Keleti Csarnok szerzetesei veszekedtek egy kismacskán. Nan-csüan mester felvette a macskát és elibük tartotta:
Szóljatok érte egy szót, vagy megölöm!
A szerzetesek zavartan hallgattak, mire Nan-csüan kettévágta a macskát.
Estefelé megérkezett Csao-csou, és Nan-csüan elmesélte neki, mi történt. Csao-csou levette egyik szalmabocskorát, a feje tetejére rakta és indult kifelé.
Ha itt lettél volna – sóhajtott Nan-csüan , megmented azt a macskát.

Nan-csüan Pu-jüan (748-835) > 南泉普願 Nanquan Puyuan > [Rōmaji: Nansen Fugen]
Csao-csou Cung-sen (778-897) > 趙州從諗 Zhaozhou Congshen > [Rōmaji: Jōshū Jūshin]


二十四雲居居山(住山) 24. Hegyek közt élni

Jün-csü Hung-csiao mestertől kérdezte egy szerzetes:
— Mi légyen a szerzetesség végső célja?
— Jobb élni a hegyek közt.

Jün-csü Tao-jing (?-902); poszthumusz címe: Hung-csiao > 雲居道膺 Yunju Daoying; 红椒 Hongjiao > [Rōmaji: Ungo Dōyō; Kokaku]


二十五丹霞燒佛(佛像) 25. Buddhával tüzelni

Egy dermesztően hideg nap Tan-hszia mester megszállt egy útszéli templomban. Fogott egy Buddha-szobrot a szentélyből és befűtött vele. A templom apátja olyan haragra gyulladt, hogy kihullt a szemöldöke.
Tou-ce felidézte a történteket, majd megjegyezte:
Ha a vendég nem tud viselkedni, a gazda járja meg.

Tan-hszia Tien-zsan (739-824) > 丹霞天然 Danxia Tianran > [Rōmaji: Tanka Tennen]
Tou-ce Ji-csing (1032-1083) > 投子義青 Touzi Yiqing > [Rōmaji: Tōsu Gisei]


三十二風穴古曲(琴棊) 32. Az ősi dal

Feng-hszüe mestert kérdezte egy szerzetes:
— Az ősi dalnak nincsen dallama, hogyan hangolódjunk rá?
— A fából faragott kakas éjféltájt kukorékol, a szalmából font kutya napkeltekor vonít — mondta a mester.

Feng-hszüe Jen-csao (896-973) > 風穴延沼 Fengxue Yanzhao > [Rōmaji: Fuketsu Enshō]


三十六雲門明教(餬餅) 36. Jün-men és Ming-csiao

Egy nap Jün-men kikérdezte Ming-csiaót:
— Hány süteményt ettél meg ma?
— Ötöt.
— Hányat evett meg az oszlop?
— Kérlek teázz a teázóban — felelt Ming-csiao.

Jün-men Ven-jen (864–949) > 雲門文偃 Yunmen Wenyan > [Rōmaji: Ummon Bun'en]
Ming-csiao Csi-szung (1007-1072) > 明教契嵩 Mingjiao Qisong > [Rōmaji: Myōkyō Sessū]


四十二雲門胡餅(餬餅) 42. Lepény*

Egy szerzetes azt kérdezte Jün-mentől:
Mi szárnyalja túl a buddhák és a pátriárkák tanítását?
Egy lepény felelte Jün-men.

*mindennapi lepénykenyér, tetejére szézámmagot szórnak
Jün-men Ven-jen (864–949) > 雲門文偃 Yunmen Wenyan > [Rōmaji: Ummon Bun'en]


四十六日裏看山(祖教) 46. Naphosszat bámulni a hegyeket

— Mi végre jött ide alapító mesterünk nyugatról? — kérdezte egy szerzetes Jün-ment.
— Hogy naphosszat bámulja a hegyeket — mondta Jün-men.

Jün-men Ven-jen (864–949) > 雲門文偃 Yunmen Wenyan > [Rōmaji: Ummon Bun'en]
alapító: Bódhidharma (?-532) > 菩提達磨 Puti Damo > [Rōmaji: Bodai Daruma]


四十八巴陵鷄鴨(祖教) 48. Tyúkok és kacsák

— Mi a különbség a csan pátriárkák és Buddha tanítása között? — kérdezte egy szerzetes.
A tyúkok, ha fáznak, felülnek a fára; a kacsák, ha fáznak, lebuknak a vízbe — felelte Pa-ling.

Pa-ling Hao-csien (10. sz.) > 巴陵顥鑑 Baling Haojian > [Rōmaji: Haryō Kōkan]


五十問趙州道(大道) 50. Útbaigazítás Csao-csoutól

— Merre van az Út? — kérdezte egy szerzetes.
— A városfalon túl — felelte Csao-csou.
— Nem azt kérdeztem!
— Hát melyiket?
— A Nagy Utat!
— Az országút pedig Csanganba visz — mondotta Csao-csou.

Csao-csou Cung-sen (778-897) > 趙州從諗 Zhaozhou Congshen > [Rōmaji: Jōshū Jūshin]