Once, Ch'an Master Tao-kuang asked Ch'an Master Ta-chu Hui-hai, "Master, how do you use the mind to practice the Path?"

"I have no mind to use and no path to practice," Ta-chu replied.

After having pondered on this response, Tao-kuang asked, "If you have no mind to use and no path to practice, then why do you gather followers and encourage them to meditate and practice the Path?"

"I neither have a roof above, nor do I have a space where I could stand. Where would I find a place to gather followers?"

Tao-kuang said, "But it is true that you gather followers every day to talk about the Path. Is this not teaching the Dharma?"

Ta-chu countered, "Please, don't make such false accusations about me. I can't even speak. How can I talk about the Dharma? I don't see even a single person. How can you say that I am gathering followers?"

Accusingly, Tao-kuang said, "Master, you are lying."

Ta-chu remarked, "I don't even have a tongue. How can I lie?"

Tao-kuang inquired, "Are you trying to tell me that this world, including all the beings, your existence and mine, meditation and the teaching of the Dharma, are all unreal?"

Ta-chu exclaimed, "They are real!"

Tao-kuang queried, "If they are all real, then why do you deny them?"

Ta-chu declared, "We have to deny the false as well as the real!"

Tao-kuang became enlightened at that instant.

A Ch'an Master's TearsIndexTreasure The Present Moment