One day when Fa-yen Wen-i (885-958), one of the well known Chinese Ch'an masters, has ascended his seat. From the assembly, a monk came out and asked:
-What is one drop of water from the fount of Tsao-ch'i?
THE GATELESS GATE - Chapter 19. Nansen's Ordinary Mind is the Way
十九 平常是道 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 南泉、因趙州問、如何是道。
Joshu asked Nansen, "What is the Way?" 泉云、平常心是道。
"Ordinary mind is the Way," Nansen replied. 州云、還可趣向否。
"Shall I try to seek after it?" Joshu asked. 泉云、擬向即乖。
"If you try for it, you will become separated from it," responded Nansen. 州云、不擬爭知是道。
"How can I know the Way unless I try for it?" persisted Joshu. 泉云、道不屬知、不屬不知。
Nansen said, "The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing. 知是妄覺、不知是無記。
Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion. 若眞達不擬之道、猶如太虚廓然洞豁。
When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless as outer space. 豈可強是非也。
How can it be talked about on the level of right and wrong?" 州於言下頓悟。
With these words, Joshu came to a sudden realization.
Mumon's Comment 無門曰、南泉被趙州發問、直得瓦解氷消、分疎不下。
Nansen dissolved and melted away before Joshu's question, and could not offer a plausible explanation. 趙州縱饒悟去、更參三十年始得。
Even though Joshu comes to a realization, he must delve into it for another thirty years before he can fully understand it.
The spring flowers, the autumn moon;
Summer breezes, winter snow.
If useless things do not clutter your mind,
You have the best days of your life.