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百丈懷海 Baizhang Huaihai (720-814)

百丈廣錄 Baizhang guanglu
(Rōmaji:) Hyakujō Ekai: Hyakujō kōroku
(English:) Baizhang's Extensive Record
(Magyar átírás:) Paj-csang Huaj-haj: Paj-csang kuanglu

勅修百丈清規 / 勅修百丈淸規 Chixiu Baizhang qinggui
Revised by 東陽德輝 Dongyang Dehui (Jpn.: Tōyō Tokki)

(Japán olvasat:) Hyakujō Ekai: Chokushū-hyakujō-shingi
(English:) Pure Rules of Baizhang / The Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations


Paj-csang Huaj-haj összegyűjtött mondásaiból
Fordította: Terebess Gábor

Record of the life of the Ch'an master Po-chang Huai-hai
Translated by Gary Snyder

PDF: Monastic Innovator, Iconoclast, and Teacher of Doctrine:
The Varied Images of Chan Master Baizhang
by Mario Poceski
In: Zen Masters (ed. by Steven Heine & Dale S. Wright. New York, 2010. Chapter 1.)

Encounter Dialogues and Discourses of Baizhang Huaihai
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha

Sayings and Doings of Pai-chang
Translated by Thomas Cleary

Ch'an Master Pai Chang
Translated by 陸寬昱 Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk)

PDF: The Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations
Translated by Shohei Ichimura

PDF: "Hyakujo's Geese, Amban's Doughnuts and Rilke's Carrousel:
Sources East and West for Salinger's Catcher."
by Dennis McCort
Comparative Literature Studies 34.3 (1997): 260-78. Rpt. in Modern Critical Interpretations : J. D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye. ”  Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000. 119-34. Rpt. in Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: J. D. Salinger's “The Catcher in the Rye” (New Edition). Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2009. 45-62.


Record of the life of the Ch'an master Po-chang Huai-hai
[Bojang Whyhigh]

Translated by Gary Snyder
from the Ching-tê Chuan-têng Lu, 'Transmission of the Lamp' Ch. VI. Taisho Tripitaka 51.249b ff.
In: Earth House Hold, New York: New Directions, 1969, pp. 69-82.

Ma-tsu (Ta-chi) (?-788 AD)


Po-chang Huai-hai (720-814)


Huang Po (?-850)


Lin-chi (?-867) [Rinzai]

background and youth

The Ch'an Master Huai-hai of Po-chang mountain in Hung-chou was from Chang-lo in
Fu-chou. When he still had his hair tied in knots, he split from society. He was well-drilled in
the 'Three Studies' (morality, meditation and wisdom). While Ma-tsu was teaching in
Nan-k'ang, Huai-hai whole-heartedly became his disciple.
Po-chang and His-t'ang Chih-ts'ang were called 'room-entering' disciples. At that time these
two fine yogins were rivals in their Ch'an study. One evening the two were with Ma-tsu at the
harvest moon-watching. Ma-tsu said "When it's just like this, what about it ?" His-t'ang
replied, "A fine time to make an offering". Po-chang said, "A fine time to practice". Ma-tsu
commented - "The sutras went into Ts'ang /'Tripitika'; meditation returned into Hai/'Sea'."

he rolls up his mat

Ma-tsu was to give a lecture ; people had gathered like clouds. He ascended to his place and
sat a while.
Then Po-chang rolled up his bowing mat. Thereupon Ma-tsu left the hall.
One day Po-chang went to visit the Master Ma-tsu in the lecture hall. Ma-tsu took a flywhisk
from the corner of his chair and fooled with it. Po-chang asked "Just this, or is there another
way ?" Ma-tsu put it back saying "After this what will yu use to help men ?" Po-chang
himself took the flywhisk and displayed it. Ma-tsu said "Just this, or is there another way ?"
Po-chang hung the flywhisk up, and waited. Ma-tsu shouted "K'AAA !"

he begins teaching

From that time on, his thunder reverberated. Sure enough, some believers invited him to the
Hsing-wu district in Hung- chou, to live at Mt. Ta-hsiung. Since he lived in a dangerously
steep, mountainous place, they called him 'Po-chang' (Hundred Fathoms). Before he had been
there a full year, students of the profound treasure had gathered like clouds from the four
directions. Among them, Kuei-shan and Huang-po became the leaders.

Po-chang and Huang-po

One day the master addressed the group : "The Buddha-Dharma is not a small affair. I twice
met with the Greater Master Ma's 'K'AAA! ' It deafened and blinded me three days."
Huang-po hearing this, unconsciously stuck out his tongue* saying "I don't know Ma-tsu, and
after all I never met him." I won't be Ma-tsu's heir" Huang-po replied. "Why ?" "– Afterwards
I'd have no descendants". The Master said "That's so, that's so".

(* From here to the end of this anecdote the Ming version is as follows: The Master said,
"Aren't you going to become the heir of Ma-tsu? " Huang-po said "Indeed not. Today,
because of your exposition, I have been able to see Ma-tsu's power in action. But I never
knew him. If I were to be Ma-tsu's heir, afterwards I'd have no descendants." The Master said,
"That's so, that's so. If your understanding is equal to your teacher's, you diminish his power
by half. Only if you surpass your teacher, will you be competent to transmit. You are very
well equipped to surpass your teacher.")

the crying comrade

One day a comrade came into the lecture hall weeping. The Master said "What's up ?" He
replied "My father and mother have both died. Will the Master please set a date for their
funeral service ?" The Master said "Come tomorrow and we'll bury them both at once".

speak without using your mouth

At lecture the Master said "Choke your throat, shut your mouth, now quickly speak" !
Kuei-shan said "I won't, you speak !" The Master said "I don't refuse to talk with you, but
afterwards I'd have no heirs." Wu-feng said "The Master also should shut up". The Master
said to him "If we were here alone, I'd be shading my eyes looking up at you". Yun-yen said
"I also have something to say. Please ask the question again". "- Choke your throat, shut you
mouth, speak quickly !" "- Now the Master has it !" Po-chang said : "I'll have no heirs".

who'll go to Hsi-t'ang?

The Master said to the group "I need someone to carry a message to Hsi-t'ang, who'll go?”
Wu-feng said "Me." "—How are you going to
transmit the message?" Wu-feng said "When I see Hsi-t'ang I'll tell him." "—What will you
say?" "—When I come back, I'll tell you."

is there fire or not

The Master and Kuei-shan were out working, and the Master asked "Is there fire?" "—There
is". "Where?" Kuei-shan took a stick, blew on it two or three times and passed it to Po-chang.
"This worm-eaten stick!"

what is the Buddha like?

Someone asked "What's the Buddha?" and Po-chang said "Who are you?" The Wayfarer said
"Me". The Master said "Do you know 'me'?" "Clearly." The Master lifted his flywhisk, "Do
you see?" "—I see." Po-chang said nothing more.

the dinner drum

Once when everyone was working together hoeing, a comrade heard the dinner drum and
suddenly putting up his mattock with a big laugh he left. Po-chang said "Brilliant! This is the
gate where Avalokitesvara enters the Principle." The Master returned to his quarters and sent
for that comrade, asking, "What truth did you perceive just now to act thus?" "—I just heard
the dinner drum pounding and went back to eat." The Master laughed.

depending on the sutras

Someone asked, "If we interpret in accordance with the sutras, the Buddhas of the Three
Worlds hate sutras, every word, as though they were the chatter of demons. What about this?"
Po-chang said "If we hang on tight to circumstances the Buddhas of the Three Worlds hate it;
if we seek anywhere else outside this, it’s the chatter of demons."

a comrade and Hsi-t'ang

A comrade asked Hsi-t'ang, "There is a question and there is an answer. What about it when
there's no question or answer?" Hsi-t'ang said "You mean to say you're afraid of rotting?" The
Master heard about this and said "I've always wondered about that fellow Hsi-t'ang." The
comrade asked the Master to comment on it. He said "The world of phenomena is not to be

the hungry man and the full

The Master said to the community "There's a man who doesn't eat for a long time—but
doesn't say he’s starving; there's a man who eats every day but doesn't say he's full." No one
could answer this.

the needy man

Yun-yen asked "For whom are you bustling about like this every day?" Po-chang replied
“There's a man needs me.”
Yen said "Why don't you let him do it himself?" "—He can't even make his own living."

Bojang's Big Lecture

A comrade asked "What about the Dharma-gate of Mahayana Sudden Enlightenment?" The
Master said:
"All of you: first stop all causal relationships, and bring the ten thousand affairs to rest. Good
or not good, out of the world or in the world—don't keep any of these dharmas in mind. Don't
have causally conditioned thoughts. Relinquish both body and mind and make yourself free,
with a mind like wood or stone—making no discriminations. Then the mind is without action,
and the mind-ground is like the empty sky.
Then the sun of wisdom will appear by itself, like clouds opening and the sun coming out.
Completely stop all involving causes: greed, anger, lust, attachment. Feelings of purity or
impurity should be extinguished. As for the five desires and the eight lusts, one need not be
bound by seeing, hearing, perceiving or knowing; or be deluded under any circumstance.
Then you will be endowed with supernatural and mysterious power. Thus is the liberated
As for all kinds of circumstances, the mind of such a man is without either tranquillity or
disorder—neither concentrated or scattered. Then there is no obstruction to the complete
comprehension of Sound and Form. Such may be called a man of Tao. He is bound in no way
by good or bad, purity or impurity, or the uses of worldly happiness and wisdom. This is what
we call Buddha-Wisdom. Right and wrong, pretty and ugly, reasonable and unreasonable—all
intellectual discriminations are completely exhausted. Being unbound, his mental condition is
free. Such a man may be called a Bodhisattva whose Bodhi-mind arrives the instant it sets
Such can ascend directly to the Buddha lands.
All the dharmas, basically, are not of themselves empty.
They do not, themselves, speak of form; also they say nothing of right and wrong or purity
and impurity; and they have no intention of binding men. The fact is that men themselves
deludedly speculate and make several kinds of understanding and bring forth several kinds of
intellectual discrimination.
If feelings of purity and impurity could be exhausted, if one didn't dwell in attachments and
didn't dwell in liberation— if there were absolutely no drawing-of-lines between conditioned
and unconditioned—if the mind analyzed without making choices—THEN THAT MIND
WOULD BE FREE. One would not be tangled up with illusion, suffering, the skandhas,
samsara or the twelve links of the chain. Remote, unattached, completely without clinging.
Going or staying without obstruction; entering into or coming out of Birth-and-Death is like
going through opening gates. Even when that mind meets with various sorts of suffering and
things that go wrong, that mind does not retreat groveling.
Such a one is not concerned with fame, clothing or food.
He doesn't covet merit or profit; he is not obstructed by social things. Though he may be
brought up against pleasure or pain, he doesn't get involved. Coarse food sustains his life,
patched clothes resist the weather. He is vacant, like a complete idiot or deaf man.
If one has the least inclination toward broadly studying Understanding within
samsara—seeking fortune and wisdom— it will add nothing to the Principle. Instead one will
be hung up by the circumstances of understanding; and return to the sea of samsara. Buddha
is an unseekable One: if you seek it you go astray. The Principle is an unseekable Principle; if
you seek it you lose it. And if you manage not to seek, it turns to seeking. This Dharma has
neither substance or emptiness. If you are able to flow through life with a mind as open and
complete as wood or stone— then you will not be swept away and drowned by the skandhas,
the five desires and the eight lusts. Then the source of Birth-and-Death will be cut off, and
you will go and come freely.
You will not in the least be bound by the conditions of karma. With an unfettered body you
can share your benefits with all things. With an unfettered mind you can respond to all minds.
With an unfettered wisdom you can loosen all bonds.
You are able to give the medicine according to the disease.

the comrade who had received precepts

A comrade asked, "Now that I have taken these precepts my body and mouth are pure—I
have already possessed only the good—have I not achieved liberation?" Po-chang said "To
some degree you are liberated. But you are not yet mentally liberated. You don't yet have
complete liberation." The comrade asked "What’s mental liberation?" "—Don't seek Buddha
or understanding; exhaust feelings of pure and impure. Also don't hold on to this non-seeking
as right. Don't dwell where you exhaust feelings, either. Don't dread the chains of Hell and
don't love the pleasures of Paradise.
Don't cling to any dharma whatsoever. Then you may begin to be called liberated without
hindrance; then body and mind and all may be called liberated.
You shouldn't say you have a small part of the good of the precepts, and take it to be enough.
Though you may have mastered the countless-as-river-sands purities of the gates of Morality,
Meditation and Wisdom, you have not yet touched on a fraction of an atom of it. Strive
courageously and get down to work. Don't wait until your ears are blocked, your eyes
clouded, your hair white and your face wrinkled; your body aged and suffering and your eyes
filled with water; your mind filled with anxiety, and no place to go. When you get to that
point you won't be able to even set your hands and feet in order. Even though you have
fortune, wisdom and much information, it won't help you. Since the eye of your mind is not
opened, and your thinking is connected with circumstances, you will not know how to reflect
inwardly, and will be unable to see the Buddha-way. Then all the karma of your whole life
will appear before you—whether it is pleasing or whether it is terrifying— the Six Roads and
the five skandhas all appear visible before you. Because you have given reign to your own
greediness what you see will all be transformed into the highly desirable: ornamenting houses,
boats and carriages in glittering display. Attaching importance to what you see, your rebirths
will not be free. Dragon, beast, freeman, slave—it's still all undecided."
The comrade asked "How do you get freedom?" The Master answered "Now in regard to the
five desires and eight lusts, have no feelings of either acceptance or rejection. Let 'purity' and
'impurity' be completely exhausted. Like the sun and the moon in the sky—shining without
causal relationships. Have a mind like wood or stone; or like the mind of Gandhahasti—who
cut the flow and went beyond, without obstruction. Such a man cannot be gathered in by
either Heaven or Hell. Also, he doesn't read the sutras and scan teachings; language should
pliably return into oneself. All verbal teachings merely illuminate his present understanding
of his own nature. He is in no way being revolved by the dharmas of existence or
non-existence. Such is a guiding master; able to see though all the dharmas of existence and
non-existence. Such is the VAJRA.
Then he has his portion of freedom and independence. If he cannot obtain it in this way,
although he may be able to chant the twelve Vedas he only becomes arrogant, and this is
slandering the Buddha, not a spiritual practice. From a worldly standpoint, reading sutras and
observing the teachings is a good thing; but from the standpoint of an illumined person it
obstructs men. Even a man who has mastered the Ten Stages (Dasabhumi) cannot avoid
flowing along in samsara's river. There is no need to seek understanding via speech, values in
words. Understanding belongs to greed, and greed turns into illness. If you can
separate—right now—from all the dharmas of being and non-being—and pass straight
through the “Three Phrases” then you will naturally be no different from the Buddha. If you
yourself are Buddha, why worry that Buddha cannot speak? My only fear is that you are not
Buddha, and that you will be revolved by the dharmas of being and non-being, and not be
free. That is why, before Principle has
been established, you will be carried about by happiness and wisdom. It's like the slave
employing the master. Better to establish Principle first, and later have happiness and wisdom.
At the proper time you'll get powers—you'll be able to take dirt and make gold, to turn
seawater into buttermilk, to break Mount Sumeru down into dust; to take one meaning and
make countless meanings; to take countless meanings and make one meaning."
The Master had finished his talk, and the community was leaving the hall. Then he called
after them, and they all turned their heads. He called "What is this?"

Po-chang's death

In the ninth year of Yuan Ho, T'ang dynasty, on the seventeenth day of the first month, the
Master returned to the silence.. He was ninety-five.
In the first year of the Ch'ang-ch'ing era (821 AD) he was given the Imperially-conferred
posthumous title of "Ta-chih Ch'an Master." His stupa was titled "Great Precious Excelling

The Regulations of the Ch'an Line

The Ch'an line, from the time of its founding by Bodhidharma, to the Sixth Patriarch, and on
up to the time of Po-chang, usually made its quarters in the temples of the Vinaya sect.
Although it had separate buildings, there was yet no agreement on rules concerning teaching
and administration. The Ch'an Master Po-chang Ta-chih, constantly concerned about this,
said: "The Way of the Patriarchs should be one of expanding and transforming mankind. We
hope that it will not die out in the future. Why should we accord our practices with every
detail of the Agamas (Theravada Vinaya rules)?"
Someone said, "The 'Yoga-sastra' and the 'Ying-lo Ching' contain the Mahayana regulations.
Why not follow them!" Po-chang said "What I follow isn't bound by the Great or Small
Vehicles, and doesn't differentiate between them. We must strike a balance between the broad
and the narrow, and establish rules that are suitable."
Thereupon, beginning a new idea, he established entirely different meditation dwellings.
In the community, everyone whose Dharma-eye is respectably powerful is called "Chang-lao"
just as in India men of age and understanding were called "Subhuti", etc. After they have
become "Transformers" or "Refiners" they live in the fang-chang room. Like Vimalakirti's
room, it is without individual bedrooms. The reason that we build lecture halls, but no
Buddha-halls, is to show that the Buddhas and Patriarchs personally appoint the Masters even
today, and it is they who become the "Buddha".
Students enter the Comrades' Hall, without distinction of many or few, high or low. In order
of how many seasons they've spent, they arrange and set up long connected benches and put
up clothes racks to hang their equipment on. They sleep with their pillows leaned against the
edge of the bench, on the auspicious right side of the body, because they do zazen for long
hours, and need a little rest. Thus they have all the Four Dignities (standing, sitting, walking
and lying down).
Aside from entering the Master's room to receive the teaching, students are permitted to be
diligent or idle; the high and the low are not bound to a common rule. This whole group has
study in the morning and an assembly in the evening. When the old chief ascends his high
seat and gives a lecture, the leaders and the group stand in rows listening. The "Guest" and the
"Host" trade questions and answers to display the principles of the Dharma—to display how
they follow and live by the Dharma.
Meals are held twice a day at suitable times, because it is necessary to be frugal, and to show
that Dharma and food go together. When working outside, those of high and those of low rank
work equally hard.
Po-chang established ten offices and called them "liao-she" ("huts"). Each office has one man
as chief, who is in charge of a number of men who each look after the affairs of their own

Item: the man in charge of cooking is called "The rice head".
The man in charge of vegetables is called "The greens head". The others all follow this

If there is someone who has falsely taken the name and stolen the form of a comrade,
muddying the pure community and obstructing its affairs, then the welfare worker (Wei-na)
investigates, removes his nameplate and clothes rack, and has him leave the grounds. The
reason for this is to preserve the peace of the community. If that person has actually
transgressed in some serious way then he should be beaten with a staff; assemble the group
and burn his robe, bowls and equipment, and chase him out by a side gate. This shows his
disgrace. Being particular about this one custom has four advantages:
First, not muddying the pure community will give birth to reverence and faith.

Item: if the three inheritances (word, deed and thought) are not good, men cannot live
together. In accordance with the customs it is sometimes appropri¬ate to use the “Brahma
Altar” method to regulate someone [ostracizing an offender with total silence].
Some persons must be thrown out of the community— when the community is tranquil,
reverence and faith will grow.

Secondly, the forms of the comrades are not destroyed, and the Buddhist precepts are
complied with.

Item: punish offenders properly, if they were allowed to keep their robes you'd
regret it later.

Third, this way you don't trouble the law courts, and you keep out of criminal litigation.
Fourth, it doesn't leak to outsiders—this protects the harmony of the tradition.

Item: when people come from all over to live together, what distinguishes the common man
and the sage? Even when the Tathagata was in the world there were six classes of common
monks; how much more today, in the decline of the Dharma, we cannot hope to have
absolutely none. If one comrade com¬mits an error, and all the other comrades make
accusations, they surely don't realize that they are demeaning the community and destroying
the Dharma; how great this destruction is. If the Ch'an group of these days wishes to move
without hindrance, we must rely on Po-chang's Thick Grove regulations to manage affairs.
Furthermore, it is not on account of the worthy ones that we set up a law guarding against
transgressions. It is better to have rules and no faults, than it is to have faults and no rules.
With Master Po-chang's protection, the Dharma has flourished and grown!

That the Ch’an Line is nowadays standing foremost can be traced to Po-chang. We have
related the essentials and displayed them for comrades of future generations, that they forget
not their roots. The complete rules are provided at all "Mountain Gates".


(I am indebted to Dr. Yoshitaka IRIYA, Head of the Chinese Department of Nagoya
University, and Fellow of the Jimbun Kagaku Kenkyusho, Kyoto, for valuable help in this




Baizhang Huaihai from a Korean temple painting (sitting with Mazu and Nanquan)

Encounter Dialogues and Discourses of Baizhang Huaihai (749-814)
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha
DOC: Treasury of the Forest of Ancestors

Master Baizhang Huaihai was born to a powerful aristocratic family on the eastern seaboard province of Fuzhou (modern Fujian). Well-educated as a child, he entered monastic life as a teen under the teacher Huizhao, where the older novice who would become Master Yaoshan was also studying. After his full ordination at Mt. Heng, Huaihai moved to Lujian (in modern Anhui province) where he studied Buddhist scriptures. Then, while still in his twenties, he sought out Master Ma at Gonggong Mountain in southern Jiangxi and became his disciple.

One day Huaihai accompanied Mazu on a walk. A flock of wild geese flew past them. Master Ma said, “What's that?”
Huaihai said, “Wild geese.”
The master said, “Where'd they go?”
Huaihai said, “They flew away.”
The master then grabbed Huaihui's nose and twisted.”
Huaihai cried out, “Ouch!”
The master said, “Do you still say they flew away?”
Huaihai had a deep realization.
The next day Master Ma entered the hall to address the community. When the monks had all assembled, Huaihai went forward and rolled up the bowing mat in front of the teacher's seat. The master then got down from the seat and returned to his room. Huaihai followed after him. The master turned to him and asked, “Why did you roll up the mat before I'd said a word?”
Huaihai said, “Yesterday you hurt my nose.”
The master said, “Where in your mind are you keeping yesterday's matter?”
Huaihai said, “Today my nose doesn't hurt anymore.”
The master said, “You understand today's matter very well.”

When Master Ma moved north to Hongzhou, Huaihai accompanied him and continued his training at Open Source Monastery. After the master's passing on nearby Stone Gate Mountain, Huaihai took up residence on the mountain and began to teach. Eventually he was invited to become the abbot of a monastery on Great Hero Mountain in a remote region southwest of Stone Gate. Because of the high and steep peaks on this mountain, it was also known as “Baizhang” (Hundred Fathoms) Mountain, and this name became Huaihai's teaching name.

Once a monk asked Master Baizhang Huaihai, “What is the most rare and wonderful affair?”
The master said, “Sitting alone on Great Hero Peak.”

During his teaching career, Master Baizhang is said to have created a new code of monastic regulations for his students that was tailored to the needs of a Zen community, and differed substantially from the more general rules for Buddhist monks. The written text for this new code has never been found, and most scholars today doubt that it was ever written. However many teachers of Baizhang's time wrote commentaries to the monastic codes which expressed their particular emphases and concerns. Although it is unlikely that Master Baizhang intended to replace the old code, it is probable that he encouraged, through writing or just orally, a characteristic lifestyle that had been developing in the communities of the Zen movement. This lifestyle, although perhaps not radically innovative within the world of Chinese Buddhism, did feature some broad shifts in priority. These included less emphasis on strict adherence to the rules of classical Indian vinaya, and a strong encouragement of farming for self-sufficiency and sustainability. Farm work also fostered humility, provided exercise, and helped keep the mind focused on the present. An awareness of the need to develop a meditative mind in all activities of life soon became a hallmark of the Zen tradition.

One day Master Baizhang was out working in the fields with his community. When the drum sounded ending the work period and announcing the noon meal, a monk held up his hoe and began to laugh. Then he went back to the monastery. The master said, “Wonderful. This is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion entering the gate of essential wisdom.”
Later that day the master summoned the monk and asked him why he had laughed out in the field. The monk said, “I was hungry. As soon as I heard the drum, I knew it was time for the noon meal.”
The master laughed.

Whenever Master Baizhang would address the community in the Dharma Hall, there was an old man who would always come to hear the talk. When the community dispersed, he left as well. One day he didn't leave. The master asked, “Who are you?”
The old man said, “A long time ago I resided on this mountain as abbot. Once a student asked me whether a great adept still falls into cause and effect. I answered that no, a great adept does not fall into cause and effect. As a result, I've been living as a wild fox for countless ages. Now I ask the master to please say a turning phrase for me so that I may be free of this fox body.” Then he asked, “Does a great adept fall into cause and effect or not?”
The master said, “A great adept does not ignore cause and effect.”
With these words the old man had a great awakening. He bowed and said, “I've been released from the wild fox body.”

Dogen said:

Whether (our view is) “not falling” or “not ignoring,” cause and
effect simply brings more cause and effect. Do you want to know
causes and understand effects?
(Dogen raised his whisk and said) Look, look. Cause and effect
are clear. (He then put down his whisk and got down from his seat).

Once the monk Da'an asked Master Baizhang, “This student yearns to understand awakening. What is it?
The Master said, “You are like someone searching for the ox while riding the ox.”
Da'an asked, “How is it after understanding?”
The master said, “It's like a person returning home riding the ox.”
Da'an said, “I'm still not clear. How can I protect and care for it from beginning to end?”
The master said, “It's like an ox herder holding up a staff to watch that the ox does not disturb people's seedlings.”
From then on Da'an understood the meaning.

The monk Xiyun once asked Master Baizhang, “What method did the ancient sages use to teach people?”
The master sat still and remained silent.
Xiyun then asked, “If so, what will our descendants in later generations receive?”
The master said, “I had thought you were such a person.” Then he returned to the abbot's room.

Many of the talks that Master Baizhang gave during his teaching career were written down by his disciples, and after his passing they were collected and published. This collection, called Baizhang's Extensive Record, remains today as the earliest existing full collection of the teachings of a Tang Dynasty Zen master.

A monk once asked – How can a person gain freedom?
Baizhang said – If you realize it in this moment, then you've realized it. If you instantly cut off the emotional clinging of the self, all cravings and attachments, the greed and grasping, the notions of degraded and pure, in other words, all delusive thoughts; then you'll be like the sun or the moon hanging free in space, shining clearly...(You'll be like) a great elephant crossing a raging river – engulfed in the rapids but not loosing your footing. Neither heaven nor hell can pull you in. When you read a scripture or hear a teaching, the words all return to yourself...You'll see that all verbal teachings are only a reflection of the immediacy of self-nature and are just meant to point the way. Letting go of all sound and form, but not dwelling in the notion of detachment, and not holding any intellectual comprehension – this is the true practice of reading scriptures and hearing teachings. If you let everything be as it is, always acting with clarity according to the situation, this is truly dropping off all fetters.

When a person of the Way encounters all kinds of painful or pleasant, agreeable or disagreeable situations, their mind is not pushed around. Not thinking of fame or profit, clothes or food, and not seeking for any merit or blessing, they are no longer obstructed by anything in the world. With nothing to cling to, free from craving, they equally accept pain and pleasure. A coarse robe provides protection from the clod, simple food is all that's necessary to support the body. Letting go, they might appear like a fool, or like a deaf and mute person – but it is only then that one gains some understanding. If you extensively pursue intellectual understanding, seeking merit and wisdom, this is all just birth-and-death; it is useless for apprehending reality. Blown around by the wind of conceptual knowledge, such a person is drowned in the ocean of birth-and-death
...Not to be controlled by greed for anything is called “saving others.” Not to dwell in the notion of self is called “saving oneself”...Right now, if you wish to realize awakening immediately, you should just let both self and outer objects disappear, let subject and object dissolve, let both self and world return to emptiness. Then...you can be called one who does not fall into any category at all. This is having faith in the true teaching, observing true ethics, practicing true generosity, true study, attaining true wisdom, and so on.

If one is speaking to worldly people, they should be told to abandon possessions, keep ethical precepts, practice formal meditation, and study teaching. To those who are beyond ordinary practices..we should not talk in that way...To true renunciates, I point out the defilement of purity. They should be taught to abandon all things, material or spiritual; to give up cultivation and attainment, and let go even of the notion of giving up. But among monks and devoted practitioners who cannot let go of the diseases of greed and aversion...they should still be taught to observe ethical precepts, practice formal meditation, and study teachings.
All verbal teachings are just like cures for diseases. Because the diseases are not the same, the medicines are also not the same. That's why it's sometimes said that there is original nature, and sometimes that there is no original nature. True words cure sickness. If the treatment brings about healing, then the words are true. If they cannot sure sickness, then they're false words. True words are false if they give rise to viewpoints. False words become true if they cut off the delusions of beings. Because the diseases are unreal, there are only unreal medicines to cure them.
Fundamentally, the truth is already present in everyone. In actuality, it is not a thing, - you do not need to know or understand it, you don't need to affirm or deny it. Just cut off dualistic thinking – cut off the notion “it exists” and the notion “it doesn't exist”...so that there are no traces of either side. Then when either side is brought up, you are unattached to them and no measures can limit you. Ultimately there is no deficiency or surplus, no sacred or profane, no separate light or dark. This is not having knowledge, yet not lacking knowledge; not bondage and not liberation. It is not any name or category at all...How can you carve and polish empty space trying to make an image of an awakened one? In the Vimalakirti Sutra it says, “reality has nothing with which it can be compared” because there is no particular thing that can be equated with it. The body of reality is not fabricated and does not fall within the confines of any classification. Thus, it is said that the understanding if the sage is nameless and cannot be spoken of; the empty door of truth as it is cannot be tarried in. It is said that insects can land anywhere except on a burning flame – similarly people can form attachment to any particular thing, but hey cannot form attachments to ultimate wisdom.

All things never proclaim themselves empty, nor do they declare that they are substantial. They don't say that they are right or wrong, pure or impure. Neither is there a particular obstructing mind that binds anyone. It's only that people themselves actively create false attachments, giving rise to all kinds of positions, creating all kinds of views, desires, and fears. Just realize that all the objects of your experience are not created and existing by themselves – they all come into existence because of a single deluded thought that mistakenly attaches onto appearances. If you realize that mind and phenomena are not two separate things that reach out to each other, then you are liberated at that very spot. All things are at peace and finished as they are, and that very spot is the sanctuary of awakening.
You should first put to end all involvements and bring to rest all your various concerns. Weather wholesome or unwholesome, mundane or extraordinary, just let go of all things. Do not try to remember , recollect, get caught up, or ponder. Let go of both body and mind, allowing them to be free...with a mouth that doesn't engage in arguments, with a mind that has no tasks before it, the ground of consciousness becomes like the empty sky and the sun of wisdom manifests itself. It's like when the clouds open up and the sun shines through.

Just now, thought after thought, if you notice the diseases of greed and aversion arise, you should just focus on curing them. Don't seek intellectual understanding, pondering meanings and expressions. Intellectual grasping is a form of craving and craving turns into disease.
Right now, just detach from all things, whether they're present or absent, and even let go of detachment. Passing beyond all stages, you are naturally no different from awakening... just beware of loosing your awake attention.
The discipline of activity is simply to drop off the things of the world. Just do not engage in any activity according to your own ideas, then there will be no problem. This is called the discipline of non-doing... As long as there is the arousal of the mind and the stirring of thought, this is all called breaking discipline.
Right this moment, simply do not get caught up, fooled, and disturbed by any present or absent objects, do not stop and dwell in empty clarity, and also do not hold onto any ideas about non-dwelling. This is called all-embracing study; it is called effort, praise, and remembrance, and it is called widely sharing the liberating truth...when there is no longer any beliefs or ideas about liberation, or even by its absence, then there is no confinement by the good, no confinement by the evil, no confinement by Buddha, no confinement by ordinary beings. The same goes for all assessment or measurements – there is no confinement by any calculating limits at all. Therefore it is said that an awakened one is one who has left confinement and goes beyond all measure.

It is said that awakening beings who practice ultimate wisdom should not grasp any words or depend on the dictates of the teachings...As long as there are verbal formulations, it is all the realm of afflictions and trouble. All verbal teachings remain in the realm of incomplete teaching. The incomplete teaching is a form of transgression. Only the complete teaching is proper practice. But from the view of awakening there is neither proper practice nor transgression, and neither the complete nor the incomplete teachings are admissible...At the point, in the midst of birth one is not obstructed by birth; in death one is not hindered by death...one is free to go or to stay, entering and exiting without difficulty. When one is like that, there is no discussion of stages, of superiority or inferiority. Even down to the body of an ant, everything is a pure and sublime land. It is inconceivable.

Based on the translation by Mario Poceski of Baizhang's Extensive Record (Baizhang Guang Lu, c.814)



Sayings and Doings of Pai-chang
Ch'an Master of Great Wisdom [i.e. Huai-hai];
translated from the Chinese by Thomas Cleary
Los Angeles : Center Publications, 1978. 131 p.

Record of Sayings of the Meditation Master of Great Wisdom
(who lived on) Pai-chang Mountain in Hung-chou, pp. 17-28.

The master's initiatory name was Huai-hai, "Ocean of
Heart", he was from Chang-le in Fukien, and his original
surname was Wang. As a youth he left the dusts of the
world and cultivated discipline, meditation, and wisdom,
the three studies of Buddhism. Finding Ta-chi (Ma-tsu,
"Ancestor Ma") teaching in Kiangsi province, he followed
him in all sincerity. Along with Chih-tsang of Hsi-t'ang
and P'u-yuan of Nan-ch'uarr he was known as among
those who "entered the room"; these three great heroes
stood out like a tripod among them all.
One day as the master was walking along with Ma-tsu,
they saw a flock of wild ducks fly by. The ancestor said,
"What is that?" The master said, "Wild ducks." Ma-tsu
said, "Where have they gone?" The master said, "Flown
away." Ma-tsu then turned around and grabbed the master's
nose; feeling pain, the master let out a cry. The ances-
tor said, "Still you say, 'Flown away'?" At these words the
master had insight.

"Wild Duck Koan" painted by 遂翁元盧 Suiō Genro (1717-1789), LACMA

Then the master returned to the attendants' quarters,
wailing pitifully. Another monk who worked as an attendant
for Ma-tsu asked him, "Are you thinking of your
parents?" The master said no. The fellow attendant said,
"Has someone reviled you?" The master said no. The attendant
said, "Then why are you crying?" The master said,
"My nose was grabbed by the great teacher, and the pain
hasn't stopped." The attendant said, "What happened?
What didn't you realize?" The master said, "Go ask the
The attendant went and asked the great teacher Ma-tsu,
"What incident happened that attendant Huai-hai
failed to accord with? He is in the attendants' quarters
crying. Please explain this to me."
The great teacher, Ancestor Ma, explained simply that
Huai-hai did indeed understand, and told the other attendant
to go ask him. So the attendant went back and said to
the master, "The teacher says you understand; he told me
to ask you myself." The master then laughed. The attendant
said, "Just a minute ago you were crying; now why
are you laughing?"
The master said, "Just then I was crying; right now
I am laughing."
The attendant was at a loss.
The next day Ma-tsu went into the teaching hall; as
soon as the community had assembled, the master came
forward and rolled up the prostration mat, whereupon
Ma-tsu got down from his seat and went back to his room
with the master following behind.
Ma-tsu said, "Just then I had not yet said anything;
why did you roll up the mat?" The master said, "Yesterday
you grabbed my nose, and it hurt." Ma-tsu said, "Yesterday
where did you set your mind?" The master said, "My
nose doesn't hurt anymore today." Ma-tsu said, "You
have deeply understood yesterday's event." The master
bowed and withdrew.
The master called on Ma-tsu a second time; as he stood
by, Ma-tsu looked at the whisk on the corner of the rope
seat. The master said, "Do you identify with the function,
or detach from the function?" Ma-tsu said, "Later on,
when you open your lips, what will you use to help
people?" The master took the whisk and held it up; Ma-tsu
said, "Do you identify with this function, or detach from
this function?" The master hung the whisk back where it
had been before; Ma-tsu drew himself up and shouted so
loud that the master's ears were deafened for three days.
Henceforth the sound of thunder would roll. Generous
believers invited him to the region of Hsin-wu in
Hung-chou, where he dwelt on Ta-hsiung Mountain.
Because of the precipitous steepness of the cliffs and crags
where he dwelt, the mountain was called Pai-chang.
Once he was there, before even a month had passed,
guests studying the mystery came like deer from all four
directions; Kuei-shan and Huang-po were foremost
among them.
When Huang-po came to the master's place, (after)
one day he took leave and said, "I want to go pay
respects to Ancestor Ma." The master said, "Ancestor Ma
has already passed on." Huang-po said, "What were
Ancestor Ma's sayings?" The master then cited the circumstances
of his second calling on Ancestor Ma and the
raising of the whisk; he said, "The way of enlightenment is
not a small matter; at that time, I was actually deafened for
three days by Ma-tsu's shout."
When Huang-po heard this, he unconsciously stuck
out his tongue (in awe). The master said, "Will you not
succeed to Ma-tsu hereafter?" Huang-po said, "No.
Today, thanks to your recital, I have been able to see Ancestor
Ma's great capacity in action; but I do not know
Ancestor Ma. If I were to succeed to Ancestor Ma, later on I
would be bereft of descendants." The master said, "Right,
right! When one's view is equal to the teacher's he diminishes
his teacher's virtue by half; only when his view
surpasses the teacher's is he qualified to pass on the
transmission. You sure have a view that goes beyond a
Later Kuei-shan asked Yang-shan, "In the incident
where Pai-chang called on Ancestor Ma a second time and
raised the whisk, what was the essential meaning of those
two venerable adepts?" Yang-shan said, "This is showing
the function of great capacity." Kuei-shan said, "Ancestor
Ma produced eighty-four enlightened teachers; how many
people attained his great capacity, and how many attained
his great function?" Yang-shan said, "Pai-chang attained
the great capacity; Huang-po attained the great function.
The rest were all just preachers of the Way." Kuei-shan
said, "It is so."

Ma-tsu one day asked the master, "Where have you
come from?" The master said, "From the other side of the
mountain." Ma-tsu said, "And did you meet anyone?"
The master said, "No." The ancestor said, "Why not?" The
master said, "If I had, I would mention it to you." Ma-tsu
said, "How could this be happening?" The master said, "I
am at fault." Ma-tsu said, "On the contrary, it's my fault."

In the teaching hall the master said, "The spiritual light
shines alone, far transcending the senses and their fields;
the essential substance is exposed, real and eternal. It is
not contained in written words. The nature of mind has no
defilement; it is basically perfect and complete in itself. Just
get rid of delusive attachments, and merge with realization
of thusness."

Someone asked, "What is so extraordinary?" The master
said, "Sitting alone on Ta-hsiung Mountain." The questioning
monk bowed, whereupon the master hit him.

Hsi-t'ang asked the master, "Later on, how will you
open up and teach people?" The master closed and opened
his hand twice. Hsi-t'ang said, "Then what?" The master
tapped his head three times with his hand.

Ancestor Ma sent someone to take a letter and three
jars of bean paste to give to the master. The master had
him place them in the front of the teaching hall; then he
went up into the hall. As soon as the community had
gathered, he pointed at the bean paste jars with his staff
and said, "If you can speak, I will not break them; if you
cannot speak, then I'll break them." The community was
speechless, so the master broke the jars and returned to his
abbot's quarters.

A certain monk came crying into the teaching hall; the
master said, "What are you doing?" The monk said, "My
father and mother have both died; please, Master, choose
a day (for their funeral)." The master said, "Tomorrow
bury them at once."

Someone asked, "What does it mean when 'to understand
the meaning according to the scriptures is the enemy
of the Buddhas of past, present, and future; to depart one
word from the scriptures is the same as demon talk'?" The
master said, "Steadfastly watching over activity and stillness
is the enemy of the Buddhas of past, present, and
future; to seek anything particular beyond this is the same
as deluded demon talk."

Once when the Master had finished talking about the
Way and the crowd was leaving the hall, he called to them;
when the people turned their heads, he said, "What is

The master, having asked everyone to clear the fields,
went back and asked Huang-po, "Reverend Yun, clearing
fields is not easy." Huang-po said, "The community of
monks is working." The master said, "There is strain on
the work of the Way. Huang-po said, "How dare one
avoid labor?" The master said, "How many fields have you
cleared?" Huang-po made a gesture of hoeing the field,
whereupon the master shouted; Huang-po covered his
ears and went out.

The master asked Huang-po, "Where have you come
from?" Huang-po said, "From picking mushrooms on the
mountain." The master said, "There is a tiger on the
mountain; did you see him?" Huang-po immediately made
a tiger's roar. The master took the axe at his side and made
a gesture of chopping; Huang-po grabbed and held it, and
immediately slapped the master.
In the evening, the master went up into the hall and
said, "People, there is a tiger on the mountain; you people
should all watch out for him coming and going. This morning
I myself got bit by him."
Later Kuei-shan asked Yang-shan, "What about the
story of Huang-po's tiger?" Yang-shan said, "What do you
say, Teacher?" Kuei-shan said, "At that time Pai-chang
should have immediately slain him with one blow of the
axe; why should it come to this?" Yang-shan said, "I disagree."
Kuei-shan said, "How do you see it?" Yang-shan
said, "He not only rides the tiger's head, he also knows
how to hold the tiger's tail." Kuei-shan said, "Chi, you
sure have a dangerously precipitous statement there."

When the master went into the teaching hall each day,
there was always an old man who listened to the teaching
and then left as the assembly dispersed. One day he didn't
leave, and the master asked him, "Who are you, standing
The old man said, "In the time of the ancient Buddha
Kasyapa, I used to dwell on this mountain. A student
asked me, 'Is a highly cultivated and greatly accomplished
person still subject to cause and effect?' I told him no, and I
became subject to the body of a wild fox. Now I ask you,
Teacher, is one greatly accomplished in practice still subject
to cause and effect?"
The master said, "He is not ignorant of cause and
effect." The old man was greatly enlightened at these
Bidding farewell to the master, he said, "I have already
escaped the wild fox body; it lies on the other side of the
mountain. I beg you to cremate it as you would a dead
The master ordered the duty distributor to strike the
gavel and announce to the monks that after the noon meal
everyone was requested to assemble and see off a dead
monk. The community couldn't understand this. The master
led them to a cave on the other side of the mountain,
and with his staff he dragged out a dead fox. Then he
cremated it according to custom.
During the evening inquiry, after the master had re-
counted the preceding story, Huang-po asked, "A man of
old gave a wrong answer and became subject to the body
of a wild fox; today, if one makes no mistake time after
time, then what?" The master said, "Come here and I'll tell
you." Huang-po drew near and gave the master a slap; the
master clapped his hands laughing and said, "I knew that
barbarians' beards were red; here is another red-bearded
At that time Kuei-shan was in the community working
as chief cook; the ascetic Ssu-ma quoted the story of the
wild fox to him and asked, "What about it, cook?" Kuei-shan
rattled the door three times with his hands; Ssu-ma
said, "Too coarse." Kuei-shan said, "The Buddhist teaching
is not this principle."
Later, Kuei-shan quoted the story of Huang-po asking
about the wild fox and asked Yang-shan about it. Yang-shan
said, "Huang-po always uses this ability." Kuei-shan
said, "Tell me, did he get it naturally, or did he get it from
someone?" Yang-shan said, "It is both the inheritance of
his teacher's bequest and his own communion with the
source as well." Kuei-shan said, "So it is. So it is."

Huang-po asked, "What teaching did the ancients
pass on to people since time immemorial?" The master was
silent. Huang-po said, "How will descendants pass on the
transmission in later generations?" The master said, "I
thought you would be the one to do it," and then returned
to the abbot's room.
As the master was doing chores along with Kuei-shan,
he asked, "Is there any fire?" Kuei-shan said, "There is."
The master said, "Where is it?" Kuei-shan picked up a
piece of firewood, blew on it, and handed it over to the
master. Taking it, the master said, "Like insects devouring

In the course of hoeing the ground during general request
to work, a certain monk, hearing the sound of the
drum, lifted up his hoe and laughed aloud; then he went
back to the monastery. The master said, "How excellent!
This is the gate through which the sound seer enters into
the principle." Later he called the monk and asked him,
"What truth did you perceive today?" The monk said,
"Early this morning I didn't have any gruel; hearing the
sound of the drum, I went back to eat rice." The master

Someone asked, "What is Buddha?" The master said,
"What are you?" He said, "Me." The master said, "Do you
know 'me' or not?" He said, "It's obvious." The master
held up his whisk and asked, "Do you see the whisk?" He
said, "Yes." The master then said no more.

The master sent a monk to Chang-ching, saying,
"When you see him go into the hall to talk about the teach-
ing, spread your mat, bow, and rise; take one sandal,
brush the dust off it with your sleeve, and put it back
upside down."
When the monk got to Chang-ching, he did just as the
master had instructed; Master Chang-ching said, "My

As Kuei-shan, Wu-feng, and Yun-yen were standing
by, the master asked Kuei-shan, "With your mouth shut
speak quickly!" Kuei-shan said, "I cannot speak. I ask you
to speak, Teacher." The master said, "I do not decline to
speak for you, but I'm afraid afterwards I would be bereft
of descendants."

The master also asked Wu-feng the same thing; Wufeng
said, "You should shut up too, Teacher." The master
said, "Where there is no one I shade my eyes to gaze far off
at you."
He also asked Yun-yen: Yun-yen said, "I have something
to say; please raise the question again, Teacher." The
master said, "With your mouth shut, say it quickly!"
Yun-yen said, "Do you now have (anything to say) or not,
Teacher?" The master said, "I am bereft of descendants."

Going up into the teaching hall, he said to the assem-
bly, "I want someone to take a message to Master Hsi-
t'ang; who can go?"
Wu-feng said, "I can go."
The master said, "How will you transmit the message?"
Wu-feng said, "I'll tell you when I return."

A monk asked Hsi-t'ang, "Where there are questions
and answers, this I do not ask about now; what about
when there are no questions or answers?" Hsi-t'ang said,
"You fear decay, huh?"
When the master heard this quoted, he said, "Up till
now I had doubted old brother Hsi-t'ang." Someone said,
"Please explain." The master said, "A compounded form
cannot be grasped."

The master said to the assembly, "There is someone
who never eats but doesn't say he's hungry; there is someone
who eats all day but doesn't say he's full." No one had
anything to say.

Yun-yen asked the master, "Everyday there's hard
work; who do you do it all for?" The master said, "There is
someone who requires it." Yun-yen said, "Why not have
him do it himself?" The master said, "He has no tools."

When the master was a child, he went along with his
mother into a temple to pay respects to the Buddha. He
pointed to the statue and asked his mother, "Who is this?"
His mother said, "He is a Buddha." The boy said, "His
features are the same as a man's - later on I too shall be

When the master did chores he always was first in the
community in taking up work. The people could not bear
this so they hid his tools away early once and asked him to
rest. The master said, "I have no virtue; how should I make
others toil?" The master having looked all over for his tools
without finding them, also neglected to eat. Therefore
there came to be his saying that "a day without working is
a day without eating," which circulated throughout the
The master died on the seventeenth day of the first
month of the ninth year of the Yuan-he era of the Tang
dynasty (814); he was ninety-five years old. In the first year
of Ch'ang-ch'ing (821), by imperial order he was entitled
"Meditation Master of Great Knowledge." His memorial
tower was called "Magnificent Jewel Disc."

Appendix to Record of Sayings
according to Ku-tsun-su yu-lu 1:

The master called on Great Teacher Ma and became his
attendant. Every time a patron sent food for the meal, as
soon as the master opened up the lid of the container,
Great Teacher Ma would lift up a cake, show it to the
assembly, and say, "What is this?" So it was every day.
The master passed three years thus, when one day as he
was walking along the road accompanying Patriarch Ma,
he heard the call of wild ducks. Ma said, "What is that
sound?" The master said "The call of wild ducks." After a
pause, Ma said, "That call just then; where has it gone?"
The master said, "Flown away." Patriarch Ma turned
around and grabbed the master's nose and pulled it. The
master made a cry of pain. Patriarch Ma said, "And you
said, 'flown away'." At these words the master Pai-chang
had insight.

Pai-chang's second calling on Ma-tsu is recorded as follows in the
Ku-tsun-su yu-lu:

The master again called on Ma-tsu: the patriarch held
up the whisk. The master said, "Do you identify with this
function, or detach from this function?" After a long silence,
Patriarch Ma said, "Hereafter when you open your
lips, what will you use to help people?" The master then
took the whisk and held it up; Ma-tsu said, "Do you identify
with this function or are you detached from this function?"
The master hung the whisk back in its former place;
Ma-tsu thereupon shouted (so loud that) the master was
deaf for three days.

pp. 29-82 (PDF)



The Third Generation After The Patriarch Hui Neng:
Ch'an Master Pai Chang
Translated from 古尊宿語錄 Guzunsu yulu [Recorded Sayings of the Ancient Worthies]
by 陸寬昱
Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk; Lu Kuanyu, 1898-1978)
The Transmission of the Mind Outside the Teaching
Rider, London 1974, pp. 50-62.

CH'AN master Huai Hai, also called Pai Chang[1], was a native
of Chang Lo district at Fu Chou (now the Min Hou district
of Foochow city, capital of Fukien province). He was Ma
Tsu's pupil and attendant.

[1] Huai Hai, the Dharma-successor of Ma Tsu, was also called Pai Chang
after the mountain where he stayed at Hung Chou (now Nanchang,
capital of Kiangsi province). Pai Chang means: Pai, one hundred, and
Chang, a measure of ten feet, i.e. One-thousand-foot mountain.

Every day when a patron sent an offering of food to Ma
Tsu, Pai Chang used to lift up the cover of the container and
Ma Tsu would take out a slice of bread to show it to the
assembly, asking, 'What is it?'[2] This was a daily routine
during Pai Chang's three year stay at Ma Tsu's monastery.
One day Pai Chang walked with Ma Tsu down the road
when they heard the cries of wild geese in the sky. Ma Tsu
asked, 'What is this sound?' Pai Chang replied, 'The cries of
wild geese.' A long while later Ma Tsu asked, 'Where have
they gone?' Pai Chang replied, 'Flown away.' Ma Tsu turned
back and twisted Pai Chang's nose. Pai Chang cried with
pain and Ma Tsu said, 'Yet you spoke of flying away.'

[2] This was Ma Tsu's direct pointing to the mind which caused his hand
to show the bread to his disciples and to their minds, the function of which
perceived the bread shown.

On hearing these last few words, Pai Chang awakened (to
the mind) and went back to the attendant's hut where he
wept bitterly. The monks there asked him, 'Are you thinking
of your parents?' Pai Chang replied, 'No'. They asked, 'Have
you been scolded by someone?' Pai Chang replied, 'No'.
They asked, 'Then why do you weep?' Pai Chang replied,
'The master twisted my nose causing me great pain which
led me nowhere.' The monk asked, 'What caused your
unresponsiveness?' Pai Chang replied, 'Go and ask the master
They then went to the abbot's room to ask Ma Tsu, 'Will
you please tell us the cause of Huai Hai's unresponsiveness
that makes him weep so bitterly in his hut?'
Ma Tsu said, 'It is because he awakened (to the Mind
Dharma). Go and ask him yourselves.'
The monks returned to the hut and said to Pai Chang,
'The master said you have awakened (to the Mind Dharma)
and told us to ask you about it.'
Pai Chang gave a loud roar of laughter and the monks
asked him, 'You wept a while ago; why are you laughing
now?' Pai Chang said, 'I wept a while ago and am laughing
now.'[3] The monks were dumbfounded.
The following day Ma Tsu went up to the Ch'an hall to
take his high seat when Pai Chang came forward to roll up
the bamboo mat. Thereat Ma Tsu left his (high) seat and was
followed by Pai Chang to the abbot's room. Ma Tsu then
asked Pai Chang, 'Tell me why did you roll up the mat?' Pai
Chang replied, 'Because my nose hurts.' Ma Tsu asked,
'Where have you been?' Pai Chang replied, 'Yesterday I had
something to do and could not see you.' Ma Tsu gave a shout
and Pai Chang went away.[4]

3. This is Pai Chang's direct pointing to the mind which causes these
words to be uttered.
4. Ma Tsu gave a shout to show the functioning of his mind and Pai
Chang went away to return function to substance to conclude the dialogue.

One day Ma Tsu asked Pai Chang, 'Where do you come.
from?' Pai Chang replied, 'From behind the mountain,' Ma
Tsu asked, 'Did you meet a man on the way?' Pai Chang
replied, 'I did not.' Ma Tsu asked, 'Why not?' Pai Chang
said, 'If I meet one I will tell you.' Ma Tsu asked, 'Where
have you learnt this (good) news?'[5] Pai Chang said, 'This is
all my fault.'[6] Ma Tsu said, 'In reality it is my fault."[7]
Pai Chang then went to the abbot's room for special
instruction. (Seeing him) Ma Tsu held the dust-whisk upright
and Pai Chang said, 'This is the very functioning which
one should keep from.' Ma Tsu then hung the dust-whisk
back (on the wall). A long while later, Ma Tsu said, 'In future
when you move the two pieces of skin[8] what will you teach
your students?'
In reply, Pai Chang reached for the dust-whisk which he
held upright. Ma Tsu remarked, 'This is the very functioning
which one should keep from.' Pai Chang then hung the dust-whisk
back (on the wall). At that Ma Tsu gave a loud shout
which deafened Pai Chang for three days.[9]

[5] A Ch'an technical term which means, 'Where have you learned to
realize your mind so that you can perceive all men on the way as unreal
and non-existent?'
[6] I should not speak of that which is indescribable and inexpressible.
[7] Ma Tsu assumed all responsibility because he initiated the dialogue.
[8] In Ch'an parlance the two pieces of skin are the lips which one open
to teach others.
[9] This is known as Ma Tsu's powerful technique of 'ta chi ta yung' or
application of great functioning to arouse the pupil's great potentiality,
for a weaker technique is not adequate for the purpose.
The deafening of Pai Chang for three days means that he was totally
disengaged from the three hindrances, that is sense organs, sense data and
consciousnesses. This is the outcome of Ma Tsu's ta chi ta yung which was
widely discussed in all Ch'an monasteries throughout China.

Later Pai Chang went to stay on Ta Hsiung mountain at Hung
Chou (now Nanchang in Kiangsi province). His abode was
on a very lofty peak; hence it was called Pai Chang (lit. One-
thousand-foot mountain). In less than a month, people came
from the four quarters in great numbers under the leadership
of two very well-known monks, Kuei Shan and Huang Po
(to receive his instructions).

One day Pai Chang said to the assembly, 'The Buddha
Dharma is no small question. Formerly the great abbot Ma
Tsu gave a shout that deafened me for three days.'
On hearing this Huang Po thrust out his tongue and Pai
Chang asked him, 'Do you want later, to become Ma Tsu's
Huang Po replied, 'No, it is only today that I heard through
you of Ma Tsu's (technique of) ta chi ta yung but I did not
meet him before. If I (blindly) succeeded him as Dharma-
successor I would ruin my Dharma descendants.'
Pai Chang said, 'It is true, it is true. If one's views equal
those of one's teacher the latter's merits will be reduced by
half. If one's views surpass those of one's teacher, one is
qualified for his Transmission. You seem to hold views that
surpass those of your teacher.'
Thereupon, Huang Po prostrated himself to pay reverence
to Pai Chang.

A bhiksu asked the guest monk, 'Let's put aside all questions
and answers (in a dialogue); what is it in the absence of
questions and answers?'
The guest monk said, 'This is due to the fear of spoiling it.'[10]
When another monk reported the dialogue to Pai Chang
the latter said, 'I guessed right about this old brother.'
The monk said, 'Will the Venerable Sir speak (of it).'
Pai Chang said, 'No agglomeration can be found.'[11]

[10] Questions and answers in the conditioned human language can only
screen the mind; hence they are avoided in order not to spoil it.
[11] A reference to the Buddha's statement on the non-existing agglomerations
of particles of dust that make the world. Cf Ch'an and Zen Teaching,
First Series, Part III, The Diamond Cutter of Doubts, pages 201/2. (Rider,
London; Sharnbala, Berkeley)

One day Pai Chang said to the assembly, 'There is a man
who never eats but does not say he is hungry; there is also a
man who eats every day but never says his stomach is full.'[12]
The assembly did not react to his saying and kept silent.

[12] This is the state of mind disengaged from sense organs, sense data
and consciousness.

Yun Yen[13] asked Pai Chang, 'Venerable abbot, for whom
are you so meticulous the whole day?'
Pai Chang replied, 'Some one needs it.'
Yun Yen asked, 'Why don't you teach him to do it
Pai Chang replied, 'Because he is deprived of livelihood.'[14]

[13] A well-known Ch'an master: 雲巖曇晟 Yunyan Tansheng (780-841)
[14] The mind depends on man to purify it for it cannot purify itself.

A monk asked Pai Chang, 'I am presenting myself to you
with a gem (within me); please throw light on it.'
Pai Chang replied, 'Last night a tiger bit a big worm on
the southern hill.'[15]
The monk said, 'No wonder yours is authentic doctrine;
but why do not you condescend to teach expediently?'
Pai Chang said, 'A fellow who shuts his ears to steal a
The monk said, 'Without expert evidence it is just as
worthless as (cheap) faggot in a cottage.'
Thereat Pai Chang gave the monk a blow of the staff. The
monk cried, 'Heaven, Heaven!'
Pai Chang said, 'What a loquacious fellow!'
The monk said, 'It is rare to meet a bosom friend (of your
calibre).' He then shook the long sleeves of his robe and
went away.
Pai Chang said, 'Today I am half defeated.'[17]
(Commenting on the above dialogue, Ch'an master Fu
Chien said, 'In spite of the glorious encounter his two feet
were cut off.')
That evening the attendant asked Pai Chang, 'Why did
you stop abruptly after that monk had disagreed with you
Pai Chang struck the attendant who cried, 'Heaven,
Pai Chang said, 'It is rare to encounter a close friend (who
understands you).'
Thereat the attendant prostrated himself to pay reverence
to the master who said, 'You have got your pass.'

[15] In Ch'an parlance a tiger is called a big worm. Pai Chang likens a
tiger biting itself to the monk wanting to know about his own mind, for
his act of speaking to the master already reveals the functioning of that
[16] i.e. self-deceit.
[17] The monk was correct and in order to test his ability Pai Chang gave
him a blow. The monk shouted, 'Heaven, heaven!' to reveal the functioning
of his mind. He revealed it once more by shaking the long sleeves of
his robe; and then returned function to its substance by going away, that
is by leaving the scene to conclude the dialogue.

As a weeping monk entered the Ch'an hall, Pai Chang asked,
'What is it?'
The monk replied, 'Both my parents have died, will you
please help me choose the date for their burial?'
Pai Chang said, 'To-morrow at the first hour.'

A monk asked Pai Chang, 'What is the most wonderful
Pai Chang replied, 'Sitting alone on the peak of Ta Hsiung
The monk paid reverence to the master who hit him (with
his staff).

The guest monk asked Pai Chang, 'What do you teach
to others?'
Pai Chang stretched out his hands at his two sides, closing
and opening them.
The monk asked, 'What else?'
Pai Chang pointed a forefinger to his head thrice.[18]

18. Pointing the forefmger thrice to the head is to reveal the three bodies
of Dharma, Sambhoga and Nirmana of a Buddha which the monk
should realize.

In the Ch'an hall the master said to the assembly:

'Spiritual light shines solitarily
Disengaging sense organs from their objects
To reveal the real eternal body
Without the use of words and letters.
The immaculate nature of mind
Fundamentally is ready made.
Just keep from causal discrimination
And you become the Buddha of Suchness.'

A monk asked Pai Chang, 'If one interprets the profound
sutras according to their literal meanings one will do a great
injustice to past, present and future Buddhas, but if one keeps
from a word of the sutras one will speak the language of the
demon. What then should one do?'
Pai Chang replied, 'To cling to disturbance or stillness is
to do a great injustice to past, present and future Buddhas;
besides to seek something is tantamount to speaking the
language of the demon.'

Ma Tsu sent a messenger with a letter and a present of three
jars of sauce to Pai Chang. After ordering the assistant to
place the three jars in the Ch'an hall he ascended to his high
seat, pointed his staff at the jars and said, 'If you can speak
correctly I shall not break the jars; if you do not speak correctly
I shall break them.'
The audience remained speechless and Pai Chang broke
the jars of sauce and returned to the abbot's room.[19]

19. The act of breaking the jars is the functioning of the mind and the
act of returning to the abbot's room reveals the return of function to the
substance of the mind.

(One day) as soon as the assembly had gathered in the Ch'an
hall Pai Chang took his staff to chase the monks away, after
which he called out to them. As they turned their heads he
asked, 'What is it?'[20]
(Later commenting on Pai Chang's teaching, Kuei Shan
asked Yang Shan,[21] 'When Pai Chang called for a second
time on Ma Tsu who held up a dust-whisk, what did their
dialogue mean?' Yang Shan replied, 'It revealed the powerful
technique of great potentiality and great functioning (ta chi
ta yung).' Kuei Shan asked, 'How many of Ma Tsu's 84 enlightened
disciples realized great potentiality and how many
great functioning?' Yang Shan replied, 'Pai Chang realized
great potentiality and Huang Po great functioning. All the
others were just Tao chanting monks (second raters).' Kuei
Shan said, 'It is true it is true.')

20. This is direct pointing to their minds which caused them to turn
back their heads.
21. Kuei Shan was the master of Yang Shan. They were co-founders of
the Kuei Yang sect, one of the five Ch'an schools in China. Cf Ch'an and
Zen Teaching,
Second Series, pages 57-83. (Rider, London; Shambala,

One day Pai Chang went out with the monks to till the land,
and when he returned he said to Huang Po, 'It is no easy
work.' Huang Po said, 'The whole community worked.'
Pai Chang said, 'Sorry to have given you so much trouble.'
Huang Po said, 'How dared I shrink from my duty?' Pai
Chang asked, 'How many fields have been tilled?' Huang Po
gesticulated as if to hoe the ground, Pai Chang gave a shout
and Huang Po shut his ears and went away.

Pai Chang asked Huang Po, 'Where do you come from?'
Huang Po replied, 'From the foot of the mountain where I
gathered mushrooms.' Pai Chang said, 'At the foot of the
mountain there is a tiger, have you seen it?' Thereat, Huang
Po gave a tiger's roar and Pai Chang took a hatchet from his
belt as if to chop (the tiger). Huang Po restrained Pai Chang
and gave him a slap in the face.
That evening in the Ch'an hall Pai Chang said to the
assembly, 'There is a tiger at the foot of the mountain, see it
when you go out. This morning I was bitten by it.'
(Later Kuei Shan commenting on the above dialogue, asked
Yang Shan, 'What do you think of Huang Po's tale of the
tiger?' Yang Shan asked back, 'What do you think of it?'
Kuei Shan said, 'At the time Pai Chang could easily have
given a blow of the hatchet to finish off (the tiger). Why did
he come to such straits?' Yang Shan said, 'It was not so.' Kuei
Shan asked, 'What then do you think of it?' Yang Shan
replied, 'He could not only sit on the tiger's head but knew
how to seize (and twist) its tail.' Kuei Shan said, 'You understand
so well (the situation of someone precariously perched)
on a dangerous cliff.'

Pai Chang noticed that every day an old man came to the
Ch'an hall to listen to the Dharma and then followed the
monks when they went away. One day the old man stayed
behind and Pai Chang asked him who he was. The man
replied, 'I was a head monk on this mountain at the time of
Kasyapa Buddha.[22] (One day) a pupil asked me if a man
practising self-cultivation could still become involved in retribution
according to the law of causality. I replied, "No, he is
free (from the effect of cause and effect)." For this reply alone
I got involved in retribution and have been reborn as a wild
fox. Will the Venerable Abbot teach me a correct answer to
the question (in order to free me from retribution)?' Pai
Chang said, 'Ask me the same question (and I will reply to
it).' The old man then asked Pai Chang, 'Does a man practising
self-cultivation still get involved in retribution according
to the law of causality?' Pai Chang replied, 'He is
not blind to cause and effect.' Thereupon, the old man was
greatly awakened and took leave of Pai Chang, saying, 'I am
now liberated from the fox's body. I live on the mountain
behind and beg you to grant me the usual rites of cremation
for a dead monk.'[23]
Pai Chang ordered the Karmadana[24] to make a formal
announcement of the funeral of a deceased bhiksu to the
consternation of the whole community.
That evening, at the Ch'an meeting, as Pai Chang was
explaining the cause leading to the funeral during the day,
Huang Po asked him, 'An ancient gave a wrong answer to
a question and was, as a result, involved in retribution causing
him to be reborn in a wild fox's body. What would happen
to those giving no wrong answers now?' Pai Chang said,
'Come forward, I will tell you.'[25] Huang Po stepped forward
and gave Pai Chang a slap in the face.[26] Pai Chang said,
'This is like speaking of the monk with a red moustache and
again of the red-moustached monk.'[27]

[22] Cf Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Second Series, The forty Transmission
Gathas, page 30 - Kasyapa Buddha. (Rider, London; Shambala, Berkeley).
[23] The law of causality ceases to affect a man only after he has realized
the absolute state of suchness which is beyond all worldly conditions, but
so long as he stays in the realm of illusion, he will suffer from the effects of
his errors and mistakes.
[24] The duty-distributor, second in command of a monastery.
[25] These words 'Come forward, I will tell you!' reveal both substance
and function.
[26] 'Stepping forward' reveals the substance and 'slapping' its function.
[27] This is tautology or saying the same things - substance and function
in two different ways. The monk with a red moustache was Vibhasa, a
name for Buddhayasas who came to China to translate Sanskrit sutras
into Chinese.

Kuei Shan was then the verger[28] of the monastery. (One day)
the ascetic Szu Ma asked him what he thought of the story
of the wild fox. Kuei Shan knocked on the door thrice. Szu
Ma said, 'Is it not too coarse?' Kuei Shan said, 'The Buddha
Dharma is not that.'[29]
Later Kuei Shan asked Yang Shan what he thought of
Huang Po's question (to Pai Chang) about the wild fox and
Yang Shan replied, 'Huang Po used to employ this technique
(of ta chi ta yung, i.e. greatness in potentiality and greatness
in functioning).' Kuei Shan asked, 'Is his technique an inborn
one or is it inherited (from a teacher)?' Yang Shan replied,
'It is inherited from a master (i.e. Pai Chang) and it is also
due to his correct interpretation of the Transmission).' Kuei
Shan said, 'It is so, it is so.'

28. Verger: a monk with various duties e.g. indicating the order of
29. Kuei Shan means that it was the story of an ancient abbot who got
disengaged from the worldly to achieve spiritual awakening, whose
function was revealed by the act of knocking thrice at the door, i.e, full
realization of the three bodies of Nirmana, Sambhoga and Dharma,
which are above and beyond all dualities e.g. the coarse and the subtle.

(One day) Huang Po asked Pai Chang, 'What Dharma did
the ancients teach to others?' Pai Chang kept silent for a long
while and Huang Po said, 'What then will you transmit to
your descendants in coming generations?' Pai Chang said,
'I thought you were one of those of large calibre', and then
returned to the abbot's room.[30]

30. In reply to Huang Po's second question, Pai Chang's last words
reveal the function of the mind and his return to the abbot's room is
returning function to substance.

Pai Chang and Kuei Shan were walking outside when the
former asked the latter, 'Do you have fire here?' Kuei Shan
replied, 'I have'. Pai Chang asked, 'Where is it?' Kuei Shan
picked up a twig, blew (as if to kindle a fire) and handed it
to Pai Chang who received it, saying, 'This is like moth-
eaten wood.'

One day the community went out to work in the fields.
When a monk heard the drumbeat, he held up his hoe,
laughed heartily and returned to the monastery.
(Seeing this) Pai Chang said, 'What a remarkable thing!
This is Avalokitesvara's Dharma-door to enlightenment.
Afterwards Pai Chang sent for the monk and asked him,
'What have you seen today?' The monk replied, 'I did not
have any rice gruel this morning and when I heard the drumbeat
I returned to take my meal.' Thereat, Pai Chang gave a
loud roar of laughter.

A monk asked Pai Chang, 'What is Buddha?' Pai Chang
asked back, 'What are you?' The monk replied, 'I am so-and-so.'
Pai Chang asked, 'Do you know this so-and-so?' The
monk said, 'This is already so clear.' Pai Chang held up a
dust-whisk and asked the monk, 'Do you see the dust-whisk?'
The monk replied, 'I see it.'
Thereat Pai Chang stopped the dialogue.

(One day) Pai Chang sent a monk to Chang Ching (another
Ch'an master) with these instructions, 'Wait until Chang
Ching comes to the Ch'an hall to expound the Dharma; then
spread your cotton mat[31] on the ground and prostrate yourself
in front of him, then get up, take one of your sandals,
clean the dust off it with your long sleeve and turn it over.'
The monk did as he was told and Chang Ching said, 'It is
this old monk's fault.'[32]

[31] Nisidana, a cloth or mat for sitting on, which a monk carries in a
pocket inside his large sleeve.
[32] The term 'this old monk' is used for the personal pronoun I.



The Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations
(Taishō Volume 48, Number 2025)
Translated from the Chinese by Shohei Ichimura
Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2006

This work is based upon the rules and precepts for Chan monasteries laid down by 百丈懷海 Baizhang Huaihai (Jpn.: Hyakujō Ekai). By the time of the Sung Dynasty, however, the original form of this code, known as the “Old Pure Regulations,” had already been lost, so 東陽德輝 Dongyang Dehui (Jpn.: Tōyō Tokki) was ordered by imperial command to supplement it, resulting in this work.
It thus contains all the rules and precepts to be observed in Chan monasteries, and was widely adopted. An example of the Sinicization of Buddhism can be seen in physical labour being called 作務 zuo-wu (Jpn.: samu) and regarded as one of the basic elements of Chan practice. "A day without work is a day without food" (一日不做一日不食 "One day not work, one day not eat"). This work also exerted considerable influence in China on the codification of similar regulations in Taoism.


Are Baizhang's Famous “Pure Rules” a Fake?

The ancient Chinese Zen master Baizhang established “pure rules” for the regulation of his monastery on Great Hero Mountain in China. The rules have served as the basis for monastic organization and practice for centuries, and their influence has extended to Zen monasteries throughout China and beyond.

The Chinese Zen tradition acknowledges that The Pure Rules is a reconstruction written about 400 years after Baizhang lived. The original text of Baizhang's regulations was lost in the chaos of war as Chinese dynasties rose and fell in the centuries following his death. Many take on faith that the current version of Baizhang's rules was reconstructed to accurately reflect the original text based on available evidence. But this view may be entirely mistaken.

As I argued in my book Tracking Bodhidharma, evidence shows that the primary lineage of China's early Zen movement attempted to remain independent of the imperial court's influence. Bodhidharma's irreconcilable differences with Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty were only the start of Zen's rebellion against the religious establishment. The trend continued, with different players, through the early Zen ancestors of the traditional lineage, extending through the eight generations of Zen masters between Bodhidharma and Baizhang.

Baizhang himself appears to have had this same aversion to direct imperial influence. The evidence for his attitude is suggested by his teachings in the Zen Lamp Records , the vast collection of old Zen writings that served as the basis for later books like The Blue Cliff Record . The text indicates that Baizhang rejected the bodhisattva ideal, a doctrine associated with the imperial court. It may come as a surprise to many Zen practitioners today that Baizhang, a famous Zen teacher, expressly counseled against embracing an ideal so central to later Zen. Baizhang may have been aware that emperors exploited the bodhisattva ideal to grant themselves exalted spiritual status.

What is particularly suspicious about The Pure Rules composed 400 years after Baizhang's time is the great concern they show for the emperor. The text emphasizes, in its first chapters, the manner in which the monastery should celebrate the emperor's birthday, how to receive high officials that come to visit, and other activities that display an extreme deference to officialdom. Such kowtowing to high officials is entirely lacking in early Zen texts. On the contrary, the early Lamp Records reveals a strong aversion, if not contempt, for imperial status. The current version of The Pure Rules, written under the direction of the imperial court centuries after Baizhang lived, is then likely a belated attempt to bring Baizhang and his rebellious Zen contemporaries into the imperial corral.

—Andy Ferguson


Paj-csang Huaj-haj összegyűjtött mondásaiból
Fordította: Terebess Gábor
Vö.: Folyik a híd, Officina Nova, Budapest, 1990, 23, 29, 53-56. oldal

– Milyen eszmékre tanítod majd az embereket? – kérdezte Ma-cu Paj-csangtól.
Paj-csang szó nélkül feltartotta a légycsapóját.
– Ez minden?
Paj-csang földhöz vágta a légycsapót.

Egyszer a három tanítvány, Nan-csüan, Hszi-tang és Paj-csang elkísérte Ma-cu mestert egy holdfényes sétára.
– Mit gondoltok – kérdezte Ma-cu –, mire lehetne legjobban kihasználni ezt az időt?
– A szövegek tanulmányozására – szólalt meg elsőnek Hszi-tang.
– Kiváló alkalom az elmélkedésre – javasolta Paj-csang.
Ilyen válaszok hallatán Nan-csüan megfordult, és faképnél hagyta őket.
– A szövegeket meghagyom Hszi-tangnak – mondotta a mester –, Paj-csang pedig valóban tehetséges elmélkedő. De Nan-csüan lépett túl a hívságokon.

Tomita Keisen 富田渓仙 (1879-1936).
Tomita Keisen 富田渓仙 (1879-1936) és
仙厓義梵 Sengai Gibon (1750-1837) illusztrációja

Alighogy sétára indultak, mester és tanítványa, vadludak szálltak el a fejük felett.
– Mik ezek? – kérdezte Ma-cu.
– Vadlibák – nézett föl Paj-csang.
Merre szállnak?
Már elhúztak!

Ma-cu megragadta és úgy megcsavarta Paj-csang orrát, hogy tanítványa felüvöltött kínjában.
Hogy húztak volna el?! – harsogott Ma-cu.
Paj-csang feleszmélt.

Tarnóczy Zoltán illusztrációja

Tandori Dezső rajza: [Szárnyaló madárhiány]

Pierre Székely Péter: Marhabőr faliszőnyeg


Paj-csang küldött egy szerzetest Csang-csinghez, de előbb alaposan kioktatta:
– Amikor a mester belép a csarnokba, hogy a tanról beszéljen, terítsd le a rongyszőnyegedet, borulj le előtte, aztán kelj fel, és vedd le az egyik bocskorodat, porold le a csuhád ujjával, majd kösd vissza a lábadra, de a bocskor talpával felfelé.
A szerzetes úgy is tett.
– Az én hibám – mondta Csang-csing.

Egy nap Paj-csang megkérte Kuj-sant, nézze meg a tüzet.
Kuj-san fogta a piszkavasat, beletúrt a hamuba, majd közölte, hogy a tűz kialudt.
Paj-csang erre maga ment a tűzhelyhez, és hosszas keresgélés után kipiszkált a hamu alól egy lappangó kis parazsat. – Hát ez nem tűz? – kérdezte.

– Ki a Buddha? – kérdezte egy szerzetes.
– Te ki vagy? – viszonozta Paj-csang.
– Én én vagyok!
– No, és ismered azt az ént?
– Persze, hogy ismerem.
A mester felemelte a légycsapóját:
– Látod?
– Persze, hogy látom.
– Akkor nincs több szavam – mondta Paj-csang.

A gyülekezet a kertet művelte. Az ebédre hívó dob hangjára egy szerzetes hangosan elnevette magát, felkapta a kapáját és sietett vissza a kolostorba.
– Milyen kiváló! – dicsérte Paj-csang mester. – Így lépünk be az igazság kapuján.
Később hívatta a szerzetest:
– Mire jöttél rá?
– Reggel nem kaptam rizskását – mondta a szerzetes –, és már alig vártam a dobszót, hogy mehessek ebédelni.
Most a mester nevette el magát.

– Hol jártál? – kérdezte Paj-csang tanítványától.
– Gombát szedtem a Tahsziung-hegy lábánál – mondta Huang-po.
– Láttál tigrist?
Huang-po menten, mint egy tigris, bömbölni kezdett. Paj-csang felkapott egy szekercét és csapásra emelte, de Huang-po megelőzte őt egy jókora pofonnal.
Paj-csang jót kuncogott, és visszatért a templomba:
– A Tahsziung-hegy lábánál tigris settenkedik – szólt a gyülekezethez. – Őrizkedjetek tőle! Engem épp most mart meg.