Now these are great dialogues; they are no more talking about ordinary roads. Ryuzan’s question is not concerned with the ordinary road, but it appears on the surface as if he is asking, “There is no road on this mountain – how did you get here?” Tozan himself was a master. Anyone else in his place would have been a failure; he would not have understood the meaning that there is a place in our being where no road leads to – but still you can reach there, without any vehicle, without any road, without any guide, without any map. There is a point in our being where we can reach because we are there already – we don’t have to come. We just have to withdraw our thoughts and imaginations, to drop all that is false, and just remain together in the deep solitude.
Tozan understood it exactly, that Ryuzan is not talking about ordinary roads. He said, “Leaving aside the fact that there is no road, where did you enter? We will discuss the road later. For the moment…if you can enter here, why cannot we enter here, leaving aside the fact that there is no road?” He is showing his Zen understanding very clearly; if you can reach here without any way, why can we not reach? He is making such a great statement – that can be translated in a thousand ways, with a thousand implications.
It means that if even one person can become a buddha, in his buddhahood he has declared everybody’s buddhahood. His buddhahood means that man has the capacity and the potentiality of being a buddha. Whether you become the buddha or not, that is not the point; but your potential has been shown clearly, that this is the destiny of every human consciousness.
Ryuzan said, “I did not come by clouds or water.” Tozan then asked, “How long have you been living on this mountain?”
He dropped the subject because Ryuzan’s answer makes it clear that there is no way to say, “All that I can say is that I did not come by clouds or water. There is no road, but I have come.”
Tozan then asked, “How long have you been living on this mountain?”
Ryuzan said, “The passing of seasons and years cannot reach it.”
Time is not a measurement for consciousness. In your deepest being you have been always here, and you will remain always here; you never move from here. Everything else moves around you – the whole world moves, all the stars move. There is not a single thing, except your consciousness, which does not move. But your consciousness is the center of the cyclone. It simply remains here.
Ryuzan’s answer is so beautiful:
“The passing of seasons and years cannot reach it.”
It is beyond time, so the passing of seasons and years…don’t ask stupid questions.
Tozan asked, “Were you here first, or was the mountain here first?”