Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow...
THE GATELESS GATE - Chapter 32. A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the Buddha
三十二 外道問佛 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 世尊、因外道問、不問有言、不問無言。
A non-Buddhist philosopher said to the Buddha, "I do not ask for words; I don not ask for non-words." 世尊據座。
The Buddha just sat there. 外道贊歎云、世尊大慈大悲、開我迷雲令我得入。
The philosopher said admiringly, "The World-honored One, with his great mercy, has blown away the clouds of my illusion and enabled me to enter the Way." 乃具禮而去。
And after making bows, he took his leave. 阿難尋問佛、外道有何所證贊歎而去。
Then Ananda asked the Buddha, "What did he realize, to admire you so much?" 世尊云、如世良馬見鞭影而行。
The World-honored One replied, "A fine horse runs even at the shadow of the whip."
Ananda was the Buddha's disciple, but his understanding was not equal to that of the non-Buddhist. I want to ask you, what difference is there between the Buddha's disciple and the non-Buddhist?
On the edge of a sword,
Over the ridge of an iceberg,
With no steps, no ladders,
Climbing the cliffs without hands.