In our family there is indeed a subtle marvel not transmitted. It wouldn’t help even if the sky became my mouth, and grass, trees, pebbles, and stones all emitted light to help me expound the truth. Thus we believe that this thing cannot be transmitted and cannot be studied: it requires one’s own realization and enlightenment.
Be sure to remember the words of the previous day: “In principle, it’s sudden enlightenment – taking advantage of enlightenment to clear everything away. In the event, phenomena are not suddenly removed but exhausted gradually.” Whether you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, you must not forget! You don’t have to seek special excellence or extraordinary wonders besides.
Master Shui Lao asked Ma Tsu, “What is the true meaning of the coming from the West?”
Ma Tsu then knocked him down with a kick to the chest: Shui Lao was greatly enlightened. He got up, clapping his hands and laughing loudly, and said, “How extraordinary! How wonderful! Instantly, on the tip of a hair, I’ve understood the root source of myriad states of concentration, and countless subtle meanings.” Then he bowed and withdrew. Afterwards, he would tell the assembly, “From the time I took Ma Tsu’s kick, up until now, I haven’t stopped laughing.”
Last night it rained cats and dogs. I have always wondered where this phrase may have come from. There is only one possible source, and that is a fable of Aesop: A cat was very happily walking by, smiling to herself, and a dog asked her, “What is the matter?”
She said, “Last night in my dreams it rained, and it rained rats!”
The dog said, “Listen, you stupid cat. You don’t understand a thing about dream psychology. I was also here last night and I can testify that it rained – but it rained cats, not rats.”
That seems to be accurate enough. Dogs can dream of cats raining, but the saying is, “It rained cats and dogs.” Who would be dreaming about dogs…? Except for this small anecdote in Aesop there is no reference in the whole literature of the world, but it seems in almost all the languages somehow the saying has taken root. One thing is certain: whatever the roots – or no roots – the saying is very expressive.
The rain last night was an immense joy…not only to the earth – thirsty, waiting for it – but to the trees and to you all. These small experiences can release in you the ultimate experience…just the beauty of them, the splendor, unexpected, unpredictable. Suddenly you are surrounded with such tremendous peace, silence – and not empty, but full of songs and dances, and the whole existence rejoicing.