Quantcast

View Book

 
 
OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
1 2 3 4 5 > »
 

Chapter 9: The Flame of Your Innermost Being

Before he had realized his own enlightenment, Tokusan planned to visit the famous Zen master, Soshin, who lived on a mountain in Ryotan. When he arrived at the foot of the mountain, Tokusan found a tea house by the roadside, and thought that he might have a snack before climbing the mountain.
He ordered it from an old woman at the tea house. Snack in the Chinese language is tenjin - which means literally “to light up the mind.”
The old woman asked Tokusan, “What do you have in the box on your shoulders?”
“I have a most valuable sutra called The Diamond Sutra in it,” Tokusan said.
“Is that so?” she said. “Then I have a question to ask you. If you can answer my question, I will provide you with a snack. If, however, you should fail to give me a satisfactory answer, I am sorry, but you will have to go without a snack.”
Tokusan was a proud and confident scholar. He replied, “All right. You may ask me any question.”
At this the woman said, “In The Diamond Sutra it is written that past mind is unattainable; present mind is unattainable; and future mind is unattainable.” The old woman continued, “You say you are going to light up your mind. Which mind, now, are you going to light up?”
Tokusan was not able to answer the old woman’s question. He had to admit his inability to give the answer, and at the suggestion of the old woman of the tea house, he was determined to study Zen under Master Ryotan.

Some time later Master Ryotan and Tokusan were spending the evening together.
Ryotan said, “It is getting dark. You had better return to your place.”
Tokusan said, “Good night” to the master, and stepped outside. A few moments later, he returned to the master saying, “It is so dark outside!”
The master lit a candle to give to Tokusan, but just as Tokusan held out his hand and was about to get hold of the candle, Ryotan vehemently blew out the flame.
At this very moment Tokusan was awakened and made a bow to the master.

Zen is existence, not even existential. It has to be understood because in the contemporary world only one new philosophy has come into existence and that is existentialism. Jean-Paul Sartre, Jaspers, Sören Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger and many great scholars and intellectuals of the modern world preach existentialism. Zen is not existentialism. It has nothing to do with any “ism” at all.

Every “ism” is a mind game. Existence is not a mind game. In fact, to enter into your own existence, you will have to leave your mind behind.

Maneesha, this is one of the most beautiful stories.

Before he had realized his own enlightenment, Tokusan planned to visit the famous Zen master, Soshin, who lived on a mountain in Ryotan.
When he arrived at the foot of the mountain, Tokusan found a tea house by the roadside, and thought that he might have a snack before climbing the mountain. He ordered it from an old woman at the tea house. “Snack” in the Chinese language is tenjin - which means literally “to light up the mind.”
The old woman asked Tokusan, “What do you have in the box on your shoulders?”
“I have a most valuable sutra called The Diamond Sutra in it,” Tokusan said.
“Is that so!” she said. “Then I have a question to ask you. If you can answer my question, I will provide you with a snack. If, however, you should fail to give me a satisfactory answer, I am sorry, but you will have to go without a snack.”
Tokusan was a proud and confident scholar. He replied, “All right. You may ask me any question.”
At this the woman said, “In the diamond sutra it is written that past mind is unattainable; present mind is unattainable; and future mind is unattainable.” The old woman continued, “You say that you are going to light up your mind. Which mind, now, are you going to light up?”
Tokusan was not able to answer the old woman’s question. He had to admit his inability to give the answer, and at the suggestion of the old woman of the tea house, he was determined to study Zen under Master Ryotan.

1 2 3 4 5 > »