A monk asked the Chinese Ch'an master Chien Paling:
-What is the difference between the meaning of the Sutras and that of the Patriarch?
The master replied:
-When it is cold, hen would go up on a tree and duck down to water.
A newborn is soft and tender,
A crone, hard and stiff.
Plants and animals, in life, are supple and succulent;
In death, withered and dry.
So softness and tenderness are attributes of life,
And hardness and stiffness, attributes of death.