footnote says, "Why does he indulge the man? Let him go this way the rest of his life." Well, obviously, he indulges him because he cares very deeply whether or not Xuefeng realizes himself.
Xuefeng continued, "Later I asked Deshan in the matter of the Zen sect, will this humble student be able to attain it or not? Deshan beat me with a stick and said, 'What are you talking about?'" The footnote says, "Not enough of a beating -- the stick is not yet broken." "At that moment," Xuefeng continues, "I felt as if the bottom of a black lacquered pail had fallen out."
Yantou shouted, "Haven't you heard the saying, 'That which enters through the front gate can't be the family treasure?'" The footnote says, "What gate? Where is it? What's he saying?" Now Yantou is nostril-deep in it.
Xuefeng said, "Then how should it be?" At last, the question. At last, the great doubt is born. It's only when it becomes your question that anything can happen.
There are people who work on Mu for years, but they work on Mu like mechanical ducks. Mu has to be your own question. The question of life and death has to be your own question. The question of Who am I? What is life? What is death? What is truth? What is reality? needs to be your question. If it's not, then you won't find the answer.
For Xuefeng, this, at last, is the pivot point: "How should it be?"
And Yantou said, "If you want to spread the great teachings in the future, everything must emanate from your own heart. It completely covers the heavens and the great earth." The footnote says, "He gathers it up and lets his tongue fall to the ground." In other words, he gives him everything; he holds back nothing.
With that Xuefeng attained great enlightenment and made deep bows. Footnote says, "Can everybody see it? It's like flashing lightening. Still, it's embarrssing. Better not try to fool me."
And then he arose and called out several times, "Today Turtle Mountain has attained the Way! Today Turtle Mountain has attained the Way!" And the footnote here says, "But tell me what does this really mean?" I say wrong, wrong, wrong! It's not Turtle Mountain that has attained the Way, but rather the Way has attained Turtle Mountain. Even in a hundred thousand kalpas, Xuefeng will never get it. The great Kasho Buddha sat for ten thousand kalpas doing zazen and he, too, never realized it. How come? How come Xuefeng will never get it? To get it is to receive it. There's nothing to give and nothing to receive. It's got nothing to do with inside and outside. It can only be realized.
At the conclusion of Xuefeng's biography, it says that within 10 years, after establishing his place on Elephant Bone Mountain at the age of 50, the size of the community had reached 1,500 people. All this was from a man who had all of the human frailties that every one of us has, all of the ordinariness that each one of us have. And although he started his dharma journey when he was 12 years old, although he studied with the greatest masters during the golden age of Zen, he didn't come to realization until the time was right. Until he was ripe.
Clearly, he had the question. Clearly, he had great perseverance. Clearly, he had great faith in the practice to have done it for that long. And when that great doubt finally came to a head in the presence of Yantou, Yantou was able to do something to help him. But what took place, took place in Xuefeng. What Yantou said, "If you want to raise a great teaching, everything has to flow out from your own heart," is no different from what Dongshan's poem said. It's no different from