Shut Up

The frog doesn't see "time."
He doesn't feel "space."
What does he see?
What does he feel?
Touzi left home to enter a monastery when he was seven. He took examinations in the sutras and became ordained when he was fifteen. He studied Buddhist philosophy, especially the "hundred dharmas" of the Yogacara school, but before long he lamented, "Three incalculable aeons is said to the time required for perfect enlightenment. That's a long road to travel. What's the point of all this?"

So he went to the ancient capital and attended lectures on the Flower Ornament Scripture. The doctrines expressed there seemed like stringing pearls. Once when he read a certain set of verses in the scripture speaking of "the inherent nature of mind itself," he reflected deeply and said, "The truth is beyond written words -- how can it be made the subject of a lecture?" So he gave up his academic studies and began a life of wandering to various Chan mountain monasteries, ending up at Fushan's.

One night Master Fushan dreamed he was raising a green hawk, and on waking he took this to be an auspicious omen. The very next morning, Touzi arrived. Master Fushan welcomed him politely and asked him to contemplate the story of the Hindu philosopher questioning Buddha, who merely sat in silence.

Touzi spent three years working on this story. One day Fushan asked him, "Do you remember the story as I told it to you? Try to quote it exactly."

As Touzi was about to reply, Fushan covered his mouth. Touzi was instantly enlightened.

He bowed to Fushan, who said, "Do you realize the mystic potential?" Touzi said, "Even if it exists, it too should be thrown out." An attendant standing by remarked, "Today Touzi is like a man with a fever who has finally broken a sweat." Touzi turned to him and said, "Shut up -- if you rattle on, I'll puke."

-from the upcoming first ever comprehensive collection of Zen Sudden Enlightenment stories, A MUTE EATING A BITTER MELON

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