One day, when Master Keizan got up in the hall to speak, a monk called Gazan came forward from the assembly and asked, “Why is it hard to speak of the place where not a breath enters?”
Keizan said, “Even speaking of it does not say it.”
Gazan had a flash of insight, but as he was about to open his mouth, Keizan said, “Wrong.”
Scolded, Gazan withdrew. After this his spirit of determination soared far beyond that of ordinary people.
One night, as Keizan was enjoying the moon along with Gazan, he said, “Do you know that there are two moons?”
Gazan said, “No.”
Keizan said, “If you don’t know that there are two moons, you are not a seedling of the ‘To’ succession.”
At this, Gazan increased his determination and sat cross legged like an iron pole for years.
One day, as Keizan passed through the hall, he said, quoting Sekito, “Sometimes it is right to have him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes; sometimes it is right not to have him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes.”
At these words, Gazan was greatly enlightened. Then with full ceremony, he expressed his understanding. Keizan agreed with him.
Maneesha, speaking about Zen is perhaps the most difficult thing in the world, because it is saying something about something which is absolutely inexpressible. But every master has come to this point, to decide whether to say anything or to remain silent. Even Gautam Buddha, when he became enlightened, for seven days did not speak a single word, because he could not find a way to say what he had found.
Words don’t exist for that experience. And whatever you say about it immediately becomes wrong. The moment the inner experience enters into outer expression, something goes dead. The living dance is no more there; the throbbing pulse is no more there.
After seven days he was persuaded to speak. He had argued very hard on this point, he said, “The first point is: what I have found cannot be said. I can only at the most indicate – just like a finger pointing to the moon – but it is not saying anything about the moon.”
And the danger is that unconscious people may start clinging to the finger, rather than looking at the moon; that has happened in almost all the religions. They are holding their scriptures, holy scriptures. They are only fingers pointing to the moon – where is the moon? Everybody is looking into his holy scripture.
“Secondly,” Gautam Buddha said. “Even if I manage somehow to figure out a way to express the inexpressible, there is almost a ninety-nine percent guarantee that it will be misunderstood.
“And a third point,” he said. “I am willing even to speak for that one percent of the intelligentsia – people of the heart, people who are open, not closed. But there is no certainty or guarantee that they will not misinterpret me. And once I have said something, I am no longer master of it. I am master of it while I am silent.”
His arguments are valid. And the people who were persuading him felt that what he was saying was right, but somehow he had to be convinced to speak. It is very rare that once in a while a man comes to this highest peak of consciousness, and if he remains silent humanity will not be enriched by him. He could shower the whole world with his blessings. He could bring the whole world into a deep silence where understanding blossoms. No opportunity can be lost, and a buddha is a great opportunity for the transformation of the whole world.