This man did not understand what had been said. If he had even been just a little intelligent, he would have stopped. His stopping may have given him a glimpse. But rather than stopping he asked, “What is this mind which is beyond words and speech?” Hyakujo does not act the way he would have acted with a Zen seeker. This is just a curiosity-monger. He answered him,
“There is no mind beyond words and speech.”
What he is saying is that beyond words and speech there is no mind.
No-mind is the empty mind.
No-mind is the empty heart.
Nothing can be said about it more than this: that it is empty of what you call mind.
The monk said, “If there is no mind beyond words and speech, what is that mind in reality?”
Now, he goes on being more and more stupid. Everything has been answered. If he is really in search he will ask about how to get into this space you are talking about – what device, what method…But he is not asking about either method or device, he is trying to counter the master with another question:
“If there is no mind beyond words and speech, what is that mind in reality?”
Hyakujo said, “Mind is without form and characteristics. It is neither beyond nor not beyond words and speech. It is forever clear and still, and can perform its functions clearly and without hindrance. The Patriarch said, ‘It is only when the mind is seen to be unreal that the dharma of all minds can be truly understood.’”
It must have been beyond the questioner, but Hyakujo did whatever is possible through language. He said, “Don’t ask about the reality of this mind. It is just a mirror that goes on reflecting all the attributes of existence. It is always clean. You have just never gone close to it.”
Hyakujo must have been in a great sadness seeing these people. I myself have talked to millions of people around the world. I used to talk to crowds of fifty thousand people or one hundred thousand people, and I knew that everything was going beyond their heads; they were just sitting there. To get out of the ocean of one thousand people…one hundred thousand people, they would be beaten: “You are disturbing. Sit down.” I used to say to people “If anybody stands up just pull him down.” And people always enjoy such things…! So they always waited for somebody to get up, then it was a virtue to pull him down, hit him one or two slaps – there was no other way.