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Chapter 4: In Your Eyes Is the Hope of the World

Beloved Buddha,
One day when Isan and the monks were engaged in picking tea leaves, Isan called to Kyozan, “All day I have heard your voice and not seen you.” Kyozan, instead of saying anything, shook a tea plant.
Isan said, “You have got the use, but not the subject.”
“I ask you, what do you say?” said Kyozan. Isan kept silent.
Then Kyozan said, “You have got the subject, but not the use.”
More than ten disciples of Kyozan’s became enlightened.

A few years before Kyozan passed away, he composed the following gatha:
When my years reach
my departure will take place.
I will leave it to my nature
to float or sink
when I leave with my two hands
embracing my folded knees.

At his death on Tung Ping mountain, in 890, he was seventy-seven years old and actually held his folded knees with both hands. The emperor bestowed upon him the posthumous title “Great Master Chih Tung” (meaning Wisdom Pervasion) and for his stupa the epigraph Miao kuang (meaning Wonderful Light).

Maneesha, this time has been of historical importance.

For seven weeks I was fighting with the poison day and night. One night, even my physician, Amrito, became suspicious that perhaps I cannot survive. He was taking my pulse rate and heartbeats on his cardiogram. Seven times I missed one heartbeat.

The seventh time I missed a heartbeat, it was natural for his scientific mind to think, “Now we are fighting a battle that is almost lost.” But I said to him, “Don’t be worried. Your cardiogram can go wrong; it is just a mechanical device. Trust in my witnessing. Don’t bother about my heartbeats.”

On the last day of the seven weeks’ struggle when all the pain from my body disappeared, Amrito could not believe it. It was happening almost like a miracle. Where has all the pain disappeared?

That last night, in the middle of the night I heard somebody knocking on the door. It is rare; nobody knocks on my door. I had to open my eyes. There was absolute darkness in the room, but I saw suddenly, with the door closed, a human being made of pure light entering. For a moment there was silence, and I heard from nowhere, “Can I come in?” The guest was so pure, so fragrant. I had simply to take him into the silences of my heart.

This body of pure light was nobody but Gautama the Buddha.

You can still see in my eyes the flame that I have absorbed into myself, a flame that has been for twenty-five centuries wandering around the earth to find a shelter. I am immensely blessed that Gautama the Buddha knocked on my doors.

You can see in my eyes the flame, the fire. Your inner being is made of the same cool fire. You have to carry this fire around the earth, sharing, from eyes to eyes, from heart to heart.

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