Chapter 6: This Rackety Town
The monk, Kankei, once visited the nun, Massan Ryonen. He said to himself, “If what she says hits the spot, I will remain there. If it doesn’t I will overturn the Zen seat!”
He entered the hall, and Massan sent a messenger to ask, “Have you come on a mountain-viewing journey, or for the sake of Buddhism?”
In response, Kankei said, “For the sake of Buddhism,” so Massan sat upon her seat, and Kankei approached her.
She said, “Where did you come from today, may I ask?”
Kankei replied, “From Roko.”
Massan then said to Kankei, “Why don’t you remove your bamboo hat?”
Kankei had no reply, and, making his bows, asked, “What is Massan?”
She answered, “It does not show its peak.”
He asked, “Who is Massan’s husband?”
She answered, “There is not real form of men and women.”
He said, “Kwatz!” and asked, “Why then don’t you change and disappear?”
She said, “I am not a god, I am not a demon. What could I change?”
At this, Kankei knelt down, and became the gardener of Massan’s temple for three years.
At another time, Goei went to Sekito and said, “If you can say a word, I will remain here; otherwise I will go away.”
Sekito simply sat there, and Goei went off.
From the back, Sekito called him, “Jari! Jari!”
Goei turned his head.
Sekito said, “From birth to death, it is just like this - turning the head, turning the brain. How about it?”
Goei was suddenly enlightened, so he broke his staff.
Maneesha, entering into the world of Zen is not like any other entering; it is entering in yourself. There is no door, and there is no possibility of doing anything. You have simply to relax so totally that you sink deep within yourself.
Remember, relaxation is not an activity. It is absence of all activity. And only in the absence of all activity, when you are relaxed to your very being, does the door open to all the mysteries of the world, all the miracles of existence.
It fills your being with a great dance, although you cannot utter a single word. You hear music that you have never heard, although there is no way to translate it to anyone else. You see flowers blossoming; their colors are absolutely unknown to you. Your whole being becomes a fragrant luminosity. There is nothing to say about it, you can just be it. And the rays of your silence will start creating and weaving a field around you.
That’s why a master in Zen is not simply a teacher. In all the religions there are only teachers. They teach you about subjects which you don’t know, and they ask you to believe, because there is no way to bring those experiences into objective reality. Neither has the teacher known them - he has believed them; he transfers his belief to somebody else. Zen is not a believer’s world. It is not for the faithful ones; it is for those daring souls who can drop all belief, unbelief, doubt, reason, mind, and simply enter into their pure existence without boundaries.
But it brings a tremendous transformation. Hence, let me say that while others are involved in philosophies, Zen is involved in a metamorphosis, in a transformation. It is authentic alchemy: it changes you from base metal into gold. But its language has to be understood - not with your reasoning and intellectual mind, but with your loving heart; or even just listening, not bothering whether it is true or not. And a moment comes suddenly that you see it, that which has been eluding you your whole life. Suddenly, what Gautam Buddha called “eighty-four thousand doors” open.