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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
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Chapter 8: Dancing Madly from Eternity to Eternity

One night Isan Reiyu was in attendance on Hyakujo, sitting till late in the quietness of the mountain temple.
“Who are you?” Hyakujo asked.
“Reiyu,” replied Isan.
“Rake in the fireplace,” said Hyakujo.
Isan did as he was told and said, “I find no embers left.”
Hyakujo took up the tongs and, raking deep down, brought up a tiny burning ember, which he showed to Isan, and said, “Just this, you see!”
Isan was suddenly enlightened. He made deep bows and presented his views to Hyakujo, who said:
“You have reached a crossroads on the journey. It is said in the sutra, ‘If you want to see buddhanature, you should observe time and causation.’
When the time comes you will realize it, just like remembering something you have forgotten. It is not obtained from others.
“Therefore, when you are enlightened it is just like when you were not enlightened - no mind, no dharma.
“If only you have no delusion, and no discrimination between the buddha and the unenlightened, your original nature manifests itself.
Now you have attained it, mindfully cultivate it.”

Maneesha, Zen is your very heart. It is not an achievement, you already have it. It is only a recognition.

This small anecdote is tremendously important compared to great religious scriptures, which say so much without saying anything. These small anecdotes say so much without even using a word. Their language is of existence, it is neither Hebrew, nor Arabic, nor Sanskrit. The bamboos understand it as much as you, it is the very language of being alive. Only dead people are deaf, and vice versa is also true: those who are deaf are dead.

One night Isan Reiyu was in attendance on Hyakujo, sitting till late in the quietness of the mountain temple.

You can feel the situation in which Isan was sitting, close to Hyakujo.

“Who are you?” Hyakujo asked.

Not that he is asking his name, he knows it. Isan has been one of his long-standing disciples. He is not asking anything concerning his personality, he knows every layer of it. He is asking directly, “Who is there in - within all these clothes, the body, the bones, the mind, the thoughts? Who is there at the very innermost core?”

“Who are you?” Hyakujo asked.
“Reiyu,” replied Isan.
“Rake in the fireplace,” said Hyakujo.
Isan did as he was told and said,
“I find no embers left.”
Hyakujo took up the tongs and, raking deep down, brought up a tiny burning ember, which he showed to Isan, and said, “Just this, you see!”

I want to say to you also: Just this! Do you see? - the silence, the joy, the chitchatting of the bamboos? Do you see the flame of your being?

Isan was suddenly enlightened. He made deep bows and presented his views to Hyakujo, who said: “You have reached a crossroads on the journey. It is said in the sutra, ‘If you want to see buddha nature, you should observe time and causation.’
When the time comes you will realize it, just like remembering something you have forgotten.”

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