Thursday Mar 13, 8:30am
Friday Mar 14, 7:00pm
This Week’s Koan
Book of Serenity #87
Sozan: With or Without
Sozan came to Isan and asked, “I have heard that you said, ‘Words of being and words of non-being are just like wisteria wound around a tree.’ If suddenly the tree falls down and the wisteria withers, where will the words go?”
Isan burst into great laughter.
Sozan said, “I sold my clothes and other belongings, and made an arduous journey of one thousand miles to come to you. Why does Your Reverence make light of me?”
Isan called his attendant and said, “Bring some money and give it to this reverend monk for his travel expenses.”
Finally he said, “Some day a one-eyed dragon will let you open your eyes.”
Later Sozan went to Myôshô and told him about this. Myôshô said, “I can say that Isan is completely right, but he did not meet one who could appreciate him.”
Sozan asked again, “If the tree falls down and the wisteria withers, where will the words go?’
Myôshô said, “It would make Isan laugh again all the more.”
Upon hearing this, Sozan gained realization.
Then he said, “From the beginning, there was a sword behind Isan’s laughter.”