One day, Chang-sha Ching-tsen (d. 868), one of the well-known Chinese Ch'an masters, wandered in the mountain. When he was back just at the gate of the temple, the head monk asked him:
-Where have you been, Sir?
THE GATELESS GATE - Chapter 46. Proceed On from the Top of the Pole
四十六 竿頭進歩 | hide chinese .
show chinese | 石霜和尚云、百尺竿頭、如何進歩。
Sekiso Osho asked, "How can you proceed on further from the top of a hundred-foot pole?" 又古徳云、百尺竿頭坐底人、雖然得入未爲眞。
Another eminent teacher of old said, "You, who sit on the top of a hundred-foot pole, although you have entered the Way you are not yet genuine. 百尺竿頭、須進歩十方世界現全身。
Proceed on from the top of the pole, and you will show your whole body in the ten directions."
Mumon's Comment 無門曰、
If you go on further and turn your body about, no place is left where you are not the master. 然雖如是、且道、百尺竿頭、如何進歩。嗄。
But even so, tell me, how will you go on further from the top of a hundred-foot pole? Eh?"
He darkens the third eye of insight
And clings to the first mark on the scale.
Even though he may sacrifice his life,
He is only a blind man leading the blind.