Words, No Words

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Sensei
Gateless Gate, Case 29
Neither the Wind Nor the Flag

Featured in Mountain Record 28.4, Summer 2010


The Main Case

The wind was flapping a temple flag. Two monks were arguing about it. One said the flag was moving; the other said the wind was moving. Arguing back and forth they could come to no agreement. The Sixth Patriarch said, "It is neither the wind nor the flag that is moving. It is your mind that is moving." The two monks were struck with awe.

 

Wumen's Commentary

It is neither the wind nor the flag nor the mind that is moving. Where do you see the heart of the Patriarch? If you can see clearly, you will know that the two monks obtained gold intending to buy iron. Also you will know that the Patriarch could not repress his compassion and made an awkward scene.

 

Wumen's Poem

The wind moves, the flag moves, the mind moves:
All of them missed it.
Though he knows how to open his mouth,
He does not see he was caught by words.