History Girls

{January 17, 2011}   The Gateless Gate ~ 48 & 49

One Road of Kembo


A Zen pupil asked Kembo: “All Buddhas of the ten parts of the universe enter the one road of Nirvana. Where does that road begin?”

Kembo, raising his walking stick and drawing the figure one in the air, said: “Here it is.”

This pupil went to Ummon and asked the same question. Ummon, who happened to have a fan in his hand, said: “This fan will reach to the thirty-third heaven and hit the nose of the presiding deity there. It is like the Dragon Carp of the Eastern Sea tipping over the rain-cloud with his tail.”

Mumon’s comment:

One teacher enters the deep sea and scratches the earth and raises dust. The other goes to the mountain top and raises waves that almost touch heaven. One holds, the other gives out. Each supports the profound teaching with a single hand. Kembo and Ummon are like two riders neither of whom can surpass the other. It is very difficult to find the perfect man. Frankly, neither of them know where the road starts.
Before the first step is taken the goal is reached.
Before the tongue is moved the speech is finished.
More than brilliant intuition is needed
To find the origin of the right road.

From: http://ping.fm/GdGWt


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