In an ordinary way, his answer is perfect. But Zen is not ordinary, never for a single moment. It is always and always extraordinary – because Tozan immediately said:
“Dhyana – meditation – has no gate; how can you enter into it?”
Now, great masters – just at teatime – talking of great things. Teatime becomes absolutely sacred. Tozan’s point is that dhyana has no gate: it is all openness, it is the whole sky inside. How are you going to enter? – from what gate? It has no gate.
Of the remaining three, nobody said anything. It is true, there is no gate inside. And it is also true that just by sitting silently, doing nothing, without any gate, you enter in. The gate is not a necessity. Can’t you enter this Buddha Hall without a gate? Inside there is no wall, no question of a gate, hence the remaining three masters did not say a single word. Tozan has uttered an ultimate question; only silence can be the answer.
A monk asked Joshu, “What is the way without mistakes?”
Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”
Mind can commit mistakes but once you are beyond mind, there is no one to commit mistakes. Mind can go wrong, but beyond mind there is no way of going wrong. Beyond mind, you are simply drowned in your own nature.
A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”
By “the three worlds” is meant heaven, earth, and hell. And they are all attacking us, throwing us this way or that way, pulling this way or that way.
When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?
Ganto said, “Sit still!”
The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”
A little more is not possible. Sit still is more than enough already. Sit still, and there is no hell, no heaven, no earth – just one single universe, all boundaries dissolved, all divisions disappeared. Now what more can be said? But the poor monk could not understand. He asked, “Please explain a little more.”
Ganto said, “Bring me Mount Ro…”