Gateless Gate

A sage has no self, but there is nothing that is not his self.

Pa Ling's Blown Hair Sword

A monk asked Pa Ling, “What is the Blown Hair Sword?”

Pa Ling said, “Each branch of coral supports the moon.”

Su Tsung's Ten-Body Controller

Emperor Su Tsung asked National Teacher Chung, “What is the Ten-Body Controller?”

The National Teacher said, “Patron, walk on Vairocana’s head.”

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

The National Teacher said, “Don’t acknowledge your own pure body of reality.”

T'ien P'ing's Travels on Foot

When the Master of T’ien P’ing was travelling on foot, he called on Hsi Yuan. He always would say, “Do not say you understand the Buddhist Teaching; I cannot find a single man who can quote one saying.”

One day Hsi Yuan saw him from a distance and called him by name: “Ts’ung Yi!”

P’ing raised his head: Hsi Yuan said, “Wrong!” P’ing went two or three steps; Hsi Yuan again said, “Wrong!” P’ing approached; Hsi Yuan said, “These two wrongs just now: were they my wrongs or your wrongs?”

P’ing said, “My wrongs.”

Hsi Yuan said, “Wrong!” P’ing gave up. Hsi Yuan said, “Stay here for the summer and wait for me to discuss these two wrongs with you.”

But P’ing immediately went away. Later, when he was dwelling in a temple, he said to his community, “When I was first travelling on foot, I was blown by the wind of events to Elder Ssu Ming’s place: twice in a row he said, ‘Wrong!’ and tried to keep me there over the summer to wait for him to deal with me. I did not say it was wrong then; when I set out for the South, I already knew that it was wrong.”

The Diamond Cutter Scripture's Scornful Revilement

The Diamond Cutter scripture says, “If one is scornfully reviled by others, this person has done wicked acts in previous ages which should bring him down into evil ways, but because of the scorn and vilification by others in the present age, the wicked action of former ages is thereby extinguished.”

Chao Chou's Three Turning Words

Chao Chou expressed three turning words to his community. (“A gold Buddha does not pass through a furnace; a wood Buddha does not pass through fire; a mud Buddha does not pass through water.”)

Ch'ang Ch'ing's Three Poisons

Ch’ang Ch’ing once said, “Rather say that saints have the three poisons, but do not say that the Tathagata has two kinds of speech. I do not say the Tathagata is speechless, just that he doesn’t have two kinds of speech.”

Pao Fu said, “What is Tathagata speech?”

Ch’ing said, “How could a deaf man hear?”

Pao Fu said, “I knew you were talking on the secondary level.”

Ch’ing said, “What is Tathagata speech?”

Pao Fu said, “Go drink tea.”

The Surangama Scripture's Not Seeing

The Surangama scripture says, “When I do not see, why do you not see my not seeing? If you see my not seeing, naturally that is not the characteristic of not seeing. If you don’t see my not seeing, it is naturally not a thing- how could it not be you?”

Ta Kuang Does a Dance

A monk asked Ta Kuang, “Ch’ang Ching said, ‘Joyful praise on the occasion of a meal’- what was the essence of his meaning?”

Ta Kuang did a dance. The monk bowed. Kuang said, “What have you seen, that you bow?” The monk did a dance. Kuang said, “You wild fox spirit!”

The World Honored One Ascends the Seat

One day the World Honored One ascended his seat. Manjusri struck the gavel and said, “Clearly behold the Dharma of the King of Dharma; the Dharma of the King of Dharma is thus.”

The World Honored One then got down off the seat.