A Vast, Nameless Love
Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei
Featured in Mountain Record 29.3, Spring 2011
Caoshan was once asked by a monastic, “A child went back to her parent. Why didn’t the parent pay attention to her?”
Caoshan said, “It is quite natural just like that.”
The monastic said, “Then where is the love between parent and child?”
Caoshan said, “The love between parent and child.”
The monastic said, “What is the love between parent and child?”
Caoshan said, “It cannot be split apart, even when hit with an ax.”
At the time of birth, parent and child become each other. This means that in the middle of the night, before the moon has appeared, do not be suprised that people meet without knowing each other. At this point, the empty sky has vanished and the iron mountain has crumbled. There is not an inch of ground to stand on. Be that as it may, mountains are high and valleys are low. Thus Caoshan says the love between parent and child neither arises nor vanishes. Then how can it be divided into fragments and segments? All this notwithstanding, how is it that parent and child can meet and yet not know each other?
Why must yin and yang be placed in an arrangement?
If you do, you will never have today.
When the wind blows, the grasses bend;
when the rains come, the river fills.