Chapter 6: The Christian Propaganda Machine
But then he continued, “What else does he teach?”
He suddenly must have remembered: “This may not be the whole teaching. What else does he teach?”
Ungan said, “Once, after the discourse, when the congregation stood up from their seats, Hyakujo called out to them. When they looked back at the master, Hyakujo said, ‘What is that?’”
The sermon was finished; people were leaving. Their backs were towards Hyakujo, and Hyakujo called out to them. When they looked back at the master, Hyakujo said, “What is that looking back? What is that?”
Yakusan commented, “You should have said that earlier - Hyakujo is still doing well. Thanks to you, I was able to see Hyakujo.”
Just look back and you will find the buddha. When Hyakujo called the monks who were leaving the assembly hall - their backs were towards him and he simply called them - they turned to look back at the master. Hyakujo said, “What is that looking back?”
This is the beauty of Zen. It does not get entangled into any unnecessary hypotheses. Just looking back.
And Yakusan said, “My God! Why did you not say it before? I was having a wrong understanding about Hyakujo, that he is still concerned about the scriptures although he is saying, ‘Go beyond the scriptures.’ But even going beyond is a concern about the scriptures. Why not just forget them and go beyond the mind? This statement is tremendous!”
When they all looked back, Hyakujo said, “What is that?” And in that small statement - “What is that?” - in that small gesture of looking back towards the master, the whole of Zen is complete.
Just looking back, you face the buddha.
Hyakujo is a buddha. Every enlightened person is a buddha. All that you need to do is look back. What are you doing in your meditation? Looking back - and the deeper you look, the sooner you reach to the buddha.
Yakusan commented, “You should have said that earlier. You gave me a misunderstanding about Hyakujo. Hyakujo is still doing well. Thanks to you, I was able to see Hyakujo. Although the difference of seven hundred miles is there, now there is no difference. Hyakujo is a master of the same caliber and status as I am. Seeing myself, I see Hyakujo. There is no difference.”
It is a beautiful anecdote.