Hongzhi says this:

If you truly appreciate a single thread, your eye can suitably meet the world and all of its changes. Seeing clearly, do not be fooled, and the ten thousand situations cannot shroud you. Moonlight falls on the water. Wind blows over the pines. Light and shadow do not confuse us. Sounds or voices do not block us. The whistling wind can resonate, pervading without impediment through the various structures. Flowing along with things, harmonizing without deviation, thoroughly abandoning webs of dust, still, one does not yet arrive in the original home. Put to rest the remnants of your conditioning. Sit empty of worldly anxiety, silent and bright, clear and illuminating, blank and accepting, far-reaching and responsive. Without encountering external dusts, fulfilled in your own spirit, arrive at this field and immediately recognize your ancestors.

“Without encountering external dusts,” yet far-reaching and responsive to every detail of this life.

Wumen says, “It is not the wind that moves. It is not the flag that moves. It is not the mind that moves. How do you see the heart of the ancestral teacher?” Hongzhi responds for all of us, but that does not obviate the need for each one of us to take full responsibility for removing the last trace of doubt within our lives.

“Without encountering external dusts, far-reaching and responsive, fulfilled in your own spirit, arrive at this field and immediately recognize your ancestors.” When we see that it is the mind that is moving, there is no moving. There is no mind. There is nothing outside of it. Just as there is nothing outside of the wind when it ceases to be an external dust. Just like there is nothing outside of the flag when it ceases to be external dust. This is the heart of the ancestral teaching. This is the place from which Huineng emerges. This is Hongzhi’s recognition of this lineage of clarity. This is the recognition of each other as we truly are, in this ancient paradigm that emerges at the end of doubt, and puts an end to our anxieties

 

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Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Sensei is abbot and director of operations of Zen Mountain Monastery. He received dharma transmission from Daido Roshi in 2009.

The Gateless Gate or Wumenkuan is a collection of forty-eight koans compiled in the early thirteenth century.