Such a tremendously beautiful statement. A river may be going to the mountain, or to the ocean. As far as reasoning is concerned it looks as though they are going in different ways, diametrically opposite. The river that goes toward the ocean we know; we can see it. But every time the river comes, riding on the clouds, back to the mountains – that is a little subtle and one needs a poet’s, a mystic’s understanding, to see the river is coming back to its original source.
This statement of Hofuku:
You return to the ocean…
Okay, I am going to the mountain. But that does not make you superior or inferior, neither does it make me superior or inferior.
This whole universe is ours and all the dimensions are ours. Wherever your original nature takes you, wherever your spontaneity takes you, it is your home. Zen makes this whole existence our home.
[A long silence.]
Do you see the river going back to the mountains?
Maneesha has asked:
Is it not true that, paradoxically, those who are at home in silence can use sound – music or words – most potently?
It looks paradoxical but it is not, because what is sound? – just a ripple in silence.
A lake is silent. Then a breeze comes and leaves the whole lake full of ripples. When silent, it was reflecting the moon. When the ripples come, the moon is shattered in a thousand pieces all over the lake, making it pure silver. But anyway it is the same lake reflecting the same moon, either in silence or in sound.
Remember always, Maneesha, that wherever you find something paradoxical, you will be closer to reality than ever, because paradox is the very nature of existence. Those who are at home in silence can use sound; they are the master, the sound becomes their servant. They can use music as an expression of their silence, they can use words as an expression of their experience of the mystic, of the poetic nature of existence.
Her second question is:
I hear the gossip has spread in the garden – the bamboos have told the birds – that you dedicated one of these Zen series to the bamboos.
Is that why the birds were singing so fervently last night?