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Chapter 8: The Voice of the Raindrops

Kyosei’s Voice of the Raindrops
Kyosei asked a monk, “What is the noise outside?”
The monk said, “That is the voice of the raindrops.”
Kyosei said, “Men’s thinking is topsy-turvy. Deluded by their own selves, they pursue things.”
The monk asked, “What about yourself?”
Kyosei said, “I was near it but am not deluded.”
The monk asked, “What do you mean by ‘near it but not deluded’?”
Kyosei said, “To say it in the sphere of realization may be easy, but to say it in the sphere of transcendence is difficult.”

Setcho put it like this:

The empty hall resounds with the voice of the raindrops.
Even a master fails to answer.
If you say you have turned the current,
You have no true understanding.
Understanding? No understanding?
Misty with rain, the northern and southern mountains.

I wish I could tell Setcho that in our assembly, “An empty hall resounding with the voice of raindrops,” is our master’s answer.

And question two:

You have never failed to answer - or at least whenever I have listened for it, I have always heard a response. What is your comment?

And question three:

When one’s own voice becomes the voice of the raindrops - is that your constant milieu?

Maneesha, the sound of raindrops is not there today but the sound of the bamboos is filling the whole being of this assembly. It is the same.

It does not matter whether it is the sound of running water or the crackling of bamboos - if you are silent, you are not; only the sound of the bamboos fills the whole sphere.

What else remains? - just a pure awareness.

You cannot identify this awareness with yourself. It is transcendental to you, it is higher than you, it is bigger than you. It is your intrinsic treasure, but the lotus is still in the seed.

This anecdote very beautifully makes the point, never mentioning the word awareness. There are reasons not to mention the word. Because of your old habit of the mind, you immediately grab on to anything - awareness, consciousness, witnessing - and immediately you think, “It is me.”

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