“If you fall into poverty, live that way without grumbling – then your poverty will not burden you. Likewise, if you are rich, live with your riches. All this is the functioning of Buddha-nature. In short, Buddha-nature has the quality of infinite adaptability.”
Friday Oct 9, 7:00pm
This Week’s Koan
Blue Cliff Record #51, Book of Serenity #50
“What is this?”
When Seppô was living in a hermitage, two monks came to pay their respects. When he saw them coming, Seppô thrust open the gate of his hermitage with his hands, jumped out, and said, “What is this?”
The monks also said, “What is this?” Seppô hung his head and retired into his hermitage.
Later, the monks came to Gantô. He asked them, “Where have you come from?”
The monks said, “From Reinan.”
Gantô said, “Did you ever visit Seppô?”
The monks said, “Yes, we visited him.”
Gantô said, “What did he say?”
The monks related what had happened.
Gantô said, “What else did he say?”
The monks said, “Not a word; he hung his head and retired into his hermitage.”
Gantô said, “Oh, how I regret now that in those days I did not tell him the last word!
If I had told it to him, no one under heaven could do anything against him.”
At the end of the summer practice period the monks came back to this conversation and asked him about its meaning.
Gantô said, “Why didn’t you ask me about it sooner?”
The monks said, “We could not dare to ask you about it.”
Gantô said, “Seppô was born on the same stem as I, but he will not die on the same stem. If you want to know the last word, it is just this.”