―Alan Watts Practice Meetings
Thursday Oct 2, 8:30am
Friday Oct 3, 7:00pm
This Week’s Koan
Gateless Gate #28
“Ryûtan Blows Out the Candle”
Tokusan asked Ryûtan about Zen far into the night.
At last Ryûtan said, “The night is late. Why don’t you retire?”
Tokusan made his bows and lifted the blinds to withdraw, but he was met by darkness. Turning back to Ryûtan, he said, “It is dark outside.”
Ryûtan lit a paper candle and handed it to him.
Tokusan was about to take it when Ryûtan blew it out.
At this, all of a sudden, Tokusan went through a deep experience and made bows.
Ryûtan said, “What sort of realization do you have?”
From now on,” said Tokusan, “I will not doubt the words of an old oshõ who is renowned everywhere under the sun.”
The next day Ryûtan ascended the rostrum and said, “I see a fellow among you. His fangs are like the sword tree. His mouth is like a blood bowl.
Strike him with a stick, and he won’t turn his head to look at you.
Someday or other, he will climb the highest of the peaks and establish our Way there.”
Tokusan brought his notes on the Diamond Sutra to the front of the hall, pointed to them with a torch, and said, “Even though you have exhausted the abtruse doctrines, it is like placing a hair in a vast space. Even though you have learned all the secrets of the world, it is like a drop of water dripped on the great ocean.”
And he burned all his notes.
Then, making bows, he took his leave of his teacher.