Chapter 11: No Beginning, No End
The Kalpa stone is forty miles square. Every hundred years a nymph comes and passes the sleeve of her silken robe lightly over it. When the stone has wholly worn away, one Kalpa, or one eon or one age, has passed. The Kalpa stone will eventually cease to exist, but the achievement of Ukyu and the monk will last forever.
Setcho is saying,
The Kalpa stone is hard, but wears away.
Old Ukyu! Old Ukyu!
Who is there like you?
To give the stick to another - that was truly thoughtlessness!
Thoughtlessness is respected only by Zen. Everywhere thought rules supreme. Only in the world of Zen is thought just a bondage.
Thoughtlessness is freedom.
Ukyu was one of Baso’s outstanding disciples. After he had left Baso and was living in his own temple, two monks, Gen and Sho, came from Baso’s monastery to have an interview with him.
Ukyu asked Gen, “Where are you from?”
““From Kozei,” replied Gen.
[Kozei was in the location of Baso’s temple].
Before Gen had finished these words, Ukyu gave him a blow with his stick.
Gen said, “I have heard that you treat visitors like this.”
“You do not understand me,” said Ukyu, and turning to Sho, he said, “Come before me.”
When Sho came forward, he was hit before he had said anything.
Ukyu was one of the first Zen masters to use the stick in his teaching.
What was this teaching by a stick, by hitting people? By hitting them he was showing: “Just come out of your sleep, wake up.”
You are the buddha. You are the dharma. Except your isness, everything is just a dream. Only your witnessing is authentically real. Otherwise, everything comes and goes like a dream. Only the witness remains.
Maneesha’s first question:
Zen seems to be of the understanding that the end always justifies the means.
Would you please comment?
Maneesha, there is no beginning and there is no end. There is no means and there is no goal. Zen is this declaration.
Your question has been discussed by the intelligentsia down the ages. What is important? - the means or the end? Can one achieve the right end through the wrong means? If you achieve the right end, is it that doesn’t it matter what kind of means you use to reach it?