While the lights are on and before we flee the coming nuclear cloud :| I would offer a perspective on this week's reading, in theme much as last week's readings on Master Shitou.
Many of the Koan also are about the "relative" and the "absolute" ... which are not the same, but quite the same ... as intimate as intimate can be. Most folks in the world are lost in a "deluded" world of the relative. Half baked "zen masters" get swept up in the absolute beyond names/divisions/judgments. But, when each is seen as truly the other ... ONE GREAT DANCING ... nothing in this universe is left out, and the "absolute" takes form ... YOUR FORM (mine too) ... and walks talks shits and comes to life.
So, for example, the first dialogue (about the "12 Part Teachings") is something like whether one should study Buddhist doctrine, Sutras and such ... or burn them all and just get "instantly enlightened" by sitting Zazen. The Master responds something like "you really need both but, more than that, to transcend the whole question and experience the answer ... where they are not two (one beyond one)."
Same for the next dialogues: There is that (as the Heart Sutra sings) beyond "eye, ear, nose etc." ... and that blinks when you blink your eyes, scratches its nose when I scratch my nose ... so, again, "both" but more-so, intimate beyond intimate (not two).
See things from only one way or the other, and one is still partly blinded.
Even when Yaoshan felt so absolute "like a snake free of its skin" ... he still has work to do, to bring it back down to earth, set up a place on some mountain somewhere and teach.
This section also has one of the truly amazing Koan on "goalless Just Sitting" ... Sitting Zazen, "I am doing nothing at all ... [but] if I was sitting idly, I would then be doing something!" :shock: As I sometimes say, our way of sitting is sitting as a totally Whole and Complete Action ... but that does not mean we fall into complacency on the cushion. We sit "with the Mudra" perfectly round ... not twiddling our thumbs.
Anyway, THIS PERVADES ALL ACTIVITIES, NOTHING IS LEFT OUT ... including, I am sad to say, being swept up or fleeing earthquakes, tidal waves and even NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS! :cry: