Chapter 14: Zen Is for Nobodies
Remember that in Zen, language is used in a totally different way than it is used commonly. “What is your name?” does not mean that your name is being asked. “What is your name?” means “Who are you? Are you here?” It is a question not about an arbitrary name, it is a question about the eternal consciousness within you. Have you found it?
He answered, “Doyo.”
Tozan said, “Tell me transcendentally!”
Don’t use any words!
You have to understand what is meant by transcendentally. Can you see that my finger, without saying anything, is pointing? Can you look into my eyes and see the silence of them?
I am also holding the whole existence in my hand; not just one roseflower, but all the roseflowers that have ever blossomed or will ever blossom. Do you see them? Can you see in a single rose all the roses of the past and all the roses of the future?
To see transcendentally means seeing not with your mind but with your being. In other words: when language stops, when mind stops and you are just a silence, a pure space, then you can do any act spontaneously, and that will be speaking transcendentally.
Ungo replied, “Speaking transcendentally, my name is Doyo.”
Tozan said, “When I saw my master, my answer was no different.”
Ungo remained with Tozan many years. Tozan never had less than one thousand, five hundred disciples, of whom twenty-eight were enlightened.
In this part of the anecdote he is saying, “You are not different from me. Just as you are unenlightened today, I was also unenlightened when I reached my master. My answer was not different from yours. It was as ignorant as yours, it was as unconscious as yours. You are still using words.”
After Ungo had realized his own enlightenment and became a master, a monk asked him a question.
Ungo said, “You are a fool!”
The monk said, “So are you!”
“What is the meaning of fool?” asked Ungo.
The monk danced.
Existence has to be experienced without intellectual verbalization. A dance will do because in a dance you are total. The real dancer forgets himself; only the dance remains and the dancer disappears. This is transcendence.
It may happen in many ways. A singer can sing to such intensity and totality that he is no more there, only the song.and the transcendence has happened.
A poet, a painter, a musician, a carpenter - it does not matter what you are doing. But if you are doing it without your mind interfering.