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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 65 terview in which the teacher examines the student’s understanding of his or her koan. He’d sit in his manager’s office at his desk while you—in your baker’s whites, covered with flour—sat in the outer room on a chair taking a few moments to quickly come back into touch with your koan, which had to be right there at your fingertips, easily brought back into consciousness. When Bernie rang the bell, you’d go in and respond to your koan and he would respond back and then he’d ring the bell and you’d go back downstairs to the assembly line as the next person came in. Such things are possible. One of my favorite phrases is “Who is sick?”, which comes from the koan collection Shoyoroku, the Book of Serenity. It’s from a story about Daowu, an old Chinese Zen teacher who, as it happens, figures in three other stories that are among the most im- portant in all of Zen. Daowu was the dharma brother of Yunyan, who was Tungshan’s teacher. Tungshan is one of the founding teachers of the Soto lineage. Two of these three stories are dialogues between Daowu and Yunyan. In one, Yunyan asks, “Why does the bodhisattva Kuanyin have so many hands and eyes?” Dauwu says, “It’s like reaching back for your pillow in the dark.” Yunyan says, “I understand,” and Wu asks him what he understands. Yunyan says, “The whole body is covered with hands and eyes.” Wu says, “Almost.” Yan says, “Then what do you say?” Wu replies, “There’s nothing but hands and eyes.” Which means, all of reality is love, love that accepts suffering. To say that love or compassion is something extra, some- thing particular, some admirable feeling or impulse, is good, but it misses this crucial point about life. In the second story, Wu is sweeping the ground and Yan says, “Too busy!” Wu replies, “You should know there’s one who’s not busy.” Yan says, “Oh, you mean there are two moons.” Wu holds up the broom and says, “Which moon is this?” MAR 62-67.indd 65 MAR 62-67.indd 65 12/20/07 1:53:35 PM 12/20/07 1:53:35 PM