citations from Dogen Zenji's|
RAIHAI TOKUZUI (禮拜得髓)
Prostrating to Attainment of the Marrow
Shobogenzo (Book 1), trans. by Gudo Wafu Nishijima & Chodo Cross
Wikipedia Commons: Tea Ceremony Tools, Bamboo Dipper
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THE CHINESE ZEN MASTER Shikan is a venerable patriarch in Rinzai’s lineage. Once upon a time, Rinzai sees the master coming [to visit] and holds onto him. The master says, "It is understood." Rinzai lets go and says, "I will allow you to stop for a while." From this point on, he has already become Rinzai’s disciple.
He leaves Rinzai and goes to [Nun-Master] Massan (*), at which time Massan asks him, "Where have you come from?" The master says, "The entrance of the road." Massan says, "Why have you come here without anything on?" (**) The master has no words. He just prostrates himself, bowing as
disciple to teacher. The master asks a question back to Massan: "Just what is
Massan?" Massan says, "[Massan] never shows a peak." The master says,
"Just who is the person within the mountain?" Massan says, "It is beyond
appearances such as those of a man or a woman." The master says, "Then why
do you not change [your form]?" Massan says, "I am not the ghost of a wild
fox. What might I change?" The master prostrates himself. Eventually he
decides to work as the head of the vegetable garden and works there altogether
for three years.
Later, when he has manifested himself in the world, he
preaches to the assembly, "I got half a dipper at Old Papa Rinzai’s place, and
I got half a dipper at Old Mama Massan’s place. Making a dipper with both
[halves], I have finished drinking, and, having arrived directly at the present,
I am completely satisfied."
Hearing these words now, I look back on the traces
of those days with veneration for the past. Massan is an excellent disciple
of Koan Daigu. She has power in her lifeblood, and so she has become Shikan’s
"Ma." Rinzai is an authentic successor of Obaku [Ki]un. He has power in
his efforts, and so he has become Shikan’s "Pa." "Pa" means father, and "Ma"
means mother. Zen Master Shikan’s prostration to and pursuit of the Dharma
under the nun Massan Ryonen are an excellent example of a resolute spirit,
and integrity that students of later ages should emulate. We can say that he
broke all barriers, large and small.
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from translation notes:
(*) Nun-Master Massan Ryonen, successor of Master Koan Daigu. The proper name "Massan" is literally "Last Mountain" or "End Mountain."
(**) "Why haven’t you come here covering yourself?" This suggests that it is
sometimes better to be polite than to give a terse “Zen” answer.