Chapter 2: Commentaries of the Bamboos
And the glory and the ecstasy cannot be higher, cannot be deeper if you can understand the simple experience of thisness.
Setcho’s commentary on it:
The last word, let me tell you -
Light and darkness intermingled,
Living in the same way, you all know;
Dying in different ways - beyond telling!
Absolutely beyond telling! Buddha and Dharma only nod.
Buddha and Bodhidharma - Dharma is a short form of Bodhidharma.
Buddha and Bodhidharma only nod to themselves.
They do not even utter the simplest word, this. They simply nod. In their nodding is said everything sayable, unsayable. In their nodding is the whole mystery of existence.
East, West, North and South - homeward let us go.
Late at night, seeing the snow on the thousand peaks.
As I have told you before, Setcho is a great intellectual but he is not an enlightened man. Once in a while, he makes a comment that is beautiful, but it is coming out of his head rather than out of his being. He is not accounted in the long line of buddhas. He remains only a commentator. And a commentator, however great, is simply repeating, paraphrasing the experience that is not his own.
I don’t want you to be commentators. I want you to be in the very center of existence, of your being. That is the only way to understand this tremendous mystery that surrounds you.
Seppo is also known as Hsueh-feng. Seppo once spoke of an incident that contributed to his awakening:
“When I asked Master Tokusan whether I could share the experience that the ancient masters knew, he struck me, and I was like a bucket whose bottom had just dropped out.
Ganto uttered a warning “Ho!” and asked, “Don’t you know what comes from without is not as good as what is produced within? If you were revealing your experience of Ch’an, or Zen or Dhyan, everything that you said or did would flow directly from the center of your innermost being, which in turn would embrace and penetrate the entire universe.”
Upon hearing this Seppo suddenly was enlightened and made a deep bow to Ganto.