Chapter 6: Perfect the Circle, Pure the Sound
There is nothing to say and nothing to hide but only a sharing, a sharing of the joy, a sharing of the awakening, a sharing of the blissfulness, a sharing of their ecstasy. The awakened one becomes just a child collecting seashells on the sea beach, or running after butterflies, or trying to catch the rainbows.
In fact, dialogue in words is not possible. They can play with words, but the real dialogue happens in their silences. And particularly the Zen masters are immensely inventive of new ways how to play, so that it does not disturb the silence but on the contrary, enhances it, deepens it, makes it more sweet, more alive, more dancing.
The silence between two enlightened ones is the greatest poetry - poetry without words, the greatest music - music without sounds. But when there were encounters between Zen masters, they really enjoyed it, playing all kinds of tricks on each other. They are rascal saints.
That is my comment.
Chinso came to see Shifuku.
Shifuku drew a circle in the air.
Signifying that here everything is as complete as a circle. The circle is the only thing that cannot be incomplete. If it is incomplete, it is not a circle - it may be anything. A circle by intrinsic necessity has to be complete. Shifuku drew a circle in the air to indicate two things: Here everything is complete. Why have you unnecessarily come here? Because the completion cannot speak. It has gone far beyond language. Completion means absolute silence. Why have you come here? That is the question inherent in the circle drawn in the air.
And the second thing: a circle in the air signifies that everything in this world, in this existence, is nothing but circles in the air; don’t pay too much attention to it. It is all made of the stuff dreams are made of. Even dreams have some stuff, but a circle in the air is just emptiness. Shifuku has explained his situation so beautifully, so poetically and so truthfully that he cannot be transcended.
Chinso said, “I have no object in coming here.
Why do you bother to draw a circle?”
Both are enlightened persons, so naturally Chinso says, “Why do you bother to draw a circle?” “Do you think I don’t understand? Do you think I cannot draw these circles in the air? And from where have you got the idea that I have come for any special object to be with you?” He is saying, “Is it not possible just to be together out of love, out of playfulness; has it always to be business? Can’t it be simply meeting with no object, no goal?”
Both are tremendously insightful, but Chinso is left behind by Shifuku.
Shifuku closed the door of his room.