For Suchness Sake

SuchBuddha

 

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One day Dungshan said goodbye to Master Yunyan. Yunyan asked, “Where are you going?”
“Although I’m leaving the master, I don’t know where I’ll end up.”
“Aren’t you going to Hunan?”
“No.”
“Going to your native place?”
“No.”
“When will you be back?”
“When you have a place to stay (i.e. heading a monastery) then I’ll be back.”
“Now that we part, it’ll be difficult to meet again.”
“It’ll be difficult not to meet again.”

As Dongshan was departing, he asked the master, “After a hundred years (i.e. when the master has passed away), if someone asks, ‘Have you seen the real master?’ how should I answer?”
After a long pause, Yunyan said, “Just this is it.”
Dongshan hesitated. Yunyan said, “Venerable Jie! To be able to take on this great affair, you need to be very careful and meticulous.”
Dongshan still had doubts. Later when he crossed a stream and saw his reflection in the water, he had a great awakening and understood Yunyan’s meaning. He composed this verse:

Just don’t seek from others, or you’ll be far estranged from self.
I now go on alone; everywhere I meet it.
It now is me; I now am not it.
One must understand in this way to merge with suchness.

Yunyan and Dongshan knew the same primordial face. IT is Yunyan’s and yet not Dongshan’s; IT is Dongshan’s and yet not Yunyan’s—different reflections bearing on the great affair, but the self-same face. For Suchness sake be still and know that IT is not you, but from time to time you will see IT in you as you are in IT.

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