One day when Isan and the monks were engaged in picking tea leaves, Isan called to Kyozan
– Isan was the master of Kyozan –
“All day I have heard your voice and not seen you.” Kyozan, instead of saying anything, shook a tea plant.
A beautiful gesture. He said, “You have been hearing the breeze passing through the tea plants. Of course, you could not see me, but you have heard, through the breeze passing through the tea plants, my voice.”
Isan said, “You have got the use, but not the subject.”
It is a very complicated statement.
He is saying, “You know how to use yourself, but you don’t know who you are. You know the use but you don’t know the subject. You have been cutting tea leaves perfectly well, but you were not aware. Where has your subjectivity been? Where has your witness been?”
“I ask you, what do you say?” said Kyozan. Isan kept silent.
Then Kyozan said, “You have got the subject, but not the use.”
Being silent, I know you have entered into your innermost being, your subjectivity, but just being silent is not enough. Your silence must become a song. Your experience of enlightenment must come to enlighten all your activities.
“You have the subject, but not the use.” Just being silent is not enough.
What a tremendous dialogue between the master and the disciple!
More than ten disciples of Kyozan’s became enlightened.
…Listening to this dialogue. Isan said, “You have the use but you don’t have the subject.” That was a partial statement. The remaining part is when Isan became silent and Kyozan said, “You have got the subject but not the use.” Listening to this small dialogue of immense implications….