When Yang-shan Hui-chi (807-883), as a young monk, paid a visit to the Ch'an master Hsing-k'ung, there was a monk who asked Hsing-k'ung:
-What is the meaning of the Patriarch's coming from the West?
THE WORDS OF THE GOLDSMITH
Yesterday afternoon, the d.o.m. got a chance to talk to a goldsmith who was polishing a jewelry made of gold at his work place.
He asked the goldsmith: -Why are you wearing the goggle like that during working? The goldsmith replied: -You know, sir, the dust of gold is considered very precious by many people but if they were thrown at the healthy eyes of people, they could hurt or damage the eyes. -The same is a good medicine to a wrong sickness or to a healthy person or a good word to a wrong person at a wrong time or wrong place. It will make the condition worse. You got very good words, gentleman. The d.o.m. added and then asked: -Do you know anything about something called "Buddha nature" or "Pure Consciouness", sir? -No. Not at all, sir. Is that something separate from my eyes, ears, noses...body? Or is it identical with what I have just mentioned, sir? If it were separate from my whole body, how could it get stuck at my whole body? It it were identical with my body, how could it be said that it got stuck with my body? In either cases, what people have thought and said about that could not be establised, you see?
The d.o.m. gave no answer. He said good-bye to the goldsmith and walked home.
The d.o.m. 09/26/03
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