Joshu’s The Real Way Is Not Difficult
Joshu spoke to the assembly and said,
“The real way is not difficult.
It only abhors choice and attachment.
With but a single word there may arise choice
and attachment or there may arise clarity.
This old monk does not have that clarity.
Do you appreciate the meaning of this or not?”
Then a monk asked, “If you do not have that clarity, what do you appreciate?”
Joshu said, “I do not know that either.”
The monk said, “If you do not know, how can you say that you do not have that clarity?”
Joshu said, “Asking the question is good enough. Now make your bows and retire.”
The real way is not difficult.
Direct word! Direct speech!
One with many phases.
Two with one.
Far away in the heavens the sun rises, the moon sets;
Beyond the hills the high mountains, the cold waters.
The skull has no consciousness, no delight;
The dead tree sings in the wind, not yet rotten.
Attachment and clarity; watch, and penetrate the secret!
In life one continually has to make practical decisions – about how one will use one’s time and energy, with whom one will keep company, what one will eat….
Is there a difference between making choices, judging and discriminating?
Maneesha, we are reaching to the second greatest Zen master, Joshu. Nothing can be compared with Bodhidharma, but if anyone else comes close to him, that is Joshu. But he just comes close, not to that height, not that Everest, but one cannot do anything about it.
Some trees grow very high, some trees don’t. In the world of trees there is no comparison.
In the world of real consciousness, authentic realization, also there can be no comparison. But still one should not forget the highest, so that one does not become lost into the thousand and one great peaks.
The Himalayas are thousands of miles. Each peak is unique has something to say, has some beauty to reveal, some truth…stands on its own feet, not dependent, not imprisoned, with tremendous glory and splendor.
One can easily get lost and I would like you to remember the highest, because that should be your aim too…. Your arrow should point to the highest.
Before I say something about Joshu, I would like to remind you of Bodhidharma’s sutras that we discussed yesterday. In just a very few words he has condensed the whole experience, the whole interiority, the whole kingdom of God: “Emptiness, nothing holy.” And when the emperor asked, “Then who is standing before me?” the answer was, “No knowing.”
Yesterday I forgot a very special point to be made to you that will give you the taste of real Zen. He said, “No knowing.” He could have said, “Not knowing,” but he chose, “No knowing,” because “not knowing” implies the existence of I. No knowing does not imply; it simply states innocence. Not knowing is ignorance and no knowing is innocence.