2011-04-22

Hard (or Easy) to Swallow

On this blog two days ago we saw Pang ask Shitou, "What about someone who has no connection with the ten thousand dharmas?" Today, he asks the same question of a different master. The question reminded me this morning of "Baizhang (a.k.a. Hyakujo) and the Fox," in which we consider that, while an enlightened one might not be subject to cause-and-effect (the law of causation, karma), she also is one with cause-and-effect.
Pang went to study with Mazu and asked him, "What about someone who has no connection with the ten thousand dharmas?"
Mazu said, "I will tell you after you have drunk down the waters of the West River in one gulp."
Pang understood the meaning implied, and composed a verse:

With an empty mind
The examination is passed.

After he'd stayed with Mazu for two years he composed a verse:

The world over:
Men without wives
Women without husbands
Face to face,
Speaking of what is unborn.
(The Sayings of Layman Pang, #3: "One Gulp")


Not falling under, not ignoring: like a fox.
The whole thing gulped down -- without espousal.
No wedding bells ring for marriage bonds and baby making.
What could be born?
Everything possible is already facing his face, already gulped.
What is there to talk about?