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Case #100 of the True Dharma Eye
June 1st, 2013

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

Case #100 of the True Dharma Eye

Main case 

Yunmen was once questioned by a monastic.
"– What does it mean to 'go beyond' the Dharmakāya?
"– It is not difficult to tell you about going beyond it.
But how do you understand the Dharmakāya itself?
"– Master, please show me an example.
"– I will give you an example.
But first, how do you understand the Dharmakāya itself?
"– It's just as it is.
"– This is what you learned in the monastics' hall.
Let me ask you, does the Dharmakāya eat rice?"
The monastic could not respond.

 Dōgen's commentary

As to what exists before thought arises, not a phrase has been transmitted. Stepping forward from the top of a hundred-feet pole, Yunmen wields the sword of Mañjuśrī.
This was the custom of ancient masters, and it's still the pivotal upāya to this day. Tens of thousands preserve the self. Only a handful have entered the tiger's cave. Ultimately, the only one who can know is you.

Capping verse

Without a word, the four seasons manifest freely.
Without a voice, the ten thousands things reveal the true body of the Buddha.

#Buddhism   #Zen   #Dharma  
'Capping' photo: fresco at the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara (Sarnath, India) by Japanese artist Kosetsu Nosu. The scene is of Sujātā, who —mistaking him for a deity— offered the Buddha a bowl of milk rice. On this occasion, after six years of extreme austerities, he gave up the path of asceticism, and conceived the "Middle Path". With renewed strength, he vowed to himself that, from this seat under the bodhi tree, he would not rise again until he had found what he sought, reached his goal, discovered for himself and for all men the path to nibbāna.