Joining the Rest of the
Universe

Dharma Discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei
Blue Cliff Record, Case 82
Ta Lung’s Hard and Fast Body of Reality

Featured in Mountain Record 30.3, Spring 2012
Click here to order this discourse on MP3.

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei is abbot and resident teacher of the Zen Center of New York City: Fire Lotus Temple and Head of the Order for the Mountains and Rivers Order.


Pointer

Only those with eyes can know the fishing line. Only adepts can handle devices outside of patterns. But say, what is the fishing line? What are devices beyond patterns? To test I’m citing this old case: look!

Main Case

A monk asked Ta Lung, “The physical body rots away: what is the hard and fast body of reality?”

Lung said, “The mountain flowers bloom like brocade, the valley streams are brimming blue as indigo.”

Verse

Asking without knowing.
Answering, still not understanding.
The moon is cold, the wind is high—
On the ancient cliff, frigid juniper.
How delightful: on the road he met a man who had attained the Path,
And didn’t use speech or silence to reply.
His hand grasps the white jade whip
And smashes the black dragon’s pearl.
If he hadn’t smashed it,
He would have increased its flaws.
The nation has a code of laws—
Three thousand articles of offenses.