Chapter 7: You Have Forgotten Your Wings
“It is said that the buddha nature can be clearly seen by those who study both samadhi and prajna equally. What does this mean?”
Obaku answered, “It means that we should not depend on anything at any time.”
Obaku was not a master, Obaku was a scholar. And this question cannot be decided by any scholarship; no intelligence will do, only experience. So what he answers, is absolutely irrelevant. He says, “It means that we should not depend on anything at any time.” Can you see any relevance to the question? It has nothing to do with samadhi, nothing to do with prajna. He is not only a teacher, but a blind teacher. The question has gone above his head.
Nansen then asked
- immediately, which shows what I am saying -
“I wonder whether the opinion you have just expressed is really your own.”
Anybody could have seen that this is so stupid, it has nothing to do with the question. He could have said, “I don’t know, I have not experienced either samadhi or prajna. I don’t know whether they end up into the same experience or they lead to different experiences. It is not my own experience, so I can’t say anything.” That would have been more honest. But looking at his answer, Nansen immediately asked, “I wonder whether the opinion you have just expressed is really your own.” Even this absurd opinion that you have expressed, I think even this one is not your own.
“Of course not!” said Obaku.
Seeing the situation he must have felt it is better to say that this is not my opinion.
Nansen then said, “Setting aside the question of payment for the drinking water for the moment.
Nansen lived on top of a high mountain for thirty years. To bring water to that height, he had to go miles down to bring water up. To us it may look a little strange that he was asking a price for water. He says, “Setting aside the question of payment for the drinking water, for the moment,”