"I Hit Them Right from the Start"

Rinzai


Ruth Fuller Sasaki, trans., The Recorded Sayings of Ch-an Master Lin-chi Hui-chao of Chen Prefecture, Compiled by His Humble Heir Hu-jan of San-sheng (Kyoto:The Institute for Zen Studies, 1975),p. 25. Representation of the Chinese Ch'an tradition.

Rinzai Among all the students from every quarter who are followers of the Way, none have yet come before me without being dependent on something. Here I hit them right from the start. If they come forth using their hands, I hit them on the hands; if they come forth using their mouths, I hit them on the mouth; if they come forth using their eyes, I hit them on the eyes. Not one has yet come before me in solitary freedom. All are clambering after the worthless contrivances of the men of old. As for myself, I havenít a single dharma [teaching] to give to men. All I can do is cure illnesses and unloosen bonds. You followers of the way from every quarter, try coming before me without being dependent upon things. I would confer with you.


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