Case 14 never ends, yet now comes ...
CASE 15 - Kyozan Plants His Mattock (Axe) In The Ground
So many of the Koans sing of the relative and the absolute, separate things & people as the Dance of Emptiness.
Thus, the question "where did you come from?"
The response: "I came to up here from down over there" ... even as a sharp blade edge pierces "Just This".
A follow-up question: "How many were in the field down there with you?"
One being stands silently and tall (The Buddha said: I alone am the world honored one) ... then heads back down to work with the others in their labors.
So, which is it? Here, there, now or then, up or down? One or many? Or Thus which dances all of that?
I say ... YES!
In the Preface to the Assembly ...
The silent utterance before a word is spoken speaks all the books in the library! The darkness where all separate forms vanish is also, at the flip of a switch, the light were the separate people and things suddenly appear! (A famous poem, "The Identity of Relative and Absolute" sings: "The dark makes all words one; the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases") One monk bows, and the whole temple springs into activity! In deep wholeness and interbeing, when there is dancing in the courtyard, a head nods to the beat in the backyard (another famous Koan is "When Tom catches cold, Mary Sneezes" **).
** And don't think that Mary sneezes simply because she caught Tom's germs and now has a cold of her own too. There is that, but It is much more intimate ... for Tom's cold is precisely Mary sneezing. The courtyard sweeps in the backyard, and a single monk is the whole Buddha temple.
- Tell a real story from your life exemplifying how you came up from the field of some hard labors, and headed back down to "get 'er done" ... yet all is "Just This"?
- Can you express your understanding of how your own individual "bowing/dancing/catching cold" ... is precisely and intimately others & the whole world "springing into action/nodding/sneezing"?