Efforts in Practice of the Zen

On one occasion Hyakujo said, ”if we are attached to a viewpoint that we are naturally the Buddhas and that we are in Zen Buddhism because we are originally pure and enlightened, we are among non-Buddhists who deny Causality.”

At another time a Vinaya master named Yuan once came to Hyakujo and asked, “Do you make efforts in your practice of the Zen, master?”

Hyakujo replied,”Yes, I do. When hungry, I eat; when tired, I sleep.”

Yuan asked,”And does everybody make the same efforts as you do, master?”

Hyakujo answered,”Not in the same way. When they are eating, they think of a hundred kinds of necessities, and when they are going to sleep they ponder over affairs of a thousand different kinds. That is how they differ from me.”

At this, the Vinaya master was silenced.

On another occasion, the venerable Tao Kuang asked Hyakujo, ”Master, what mental processes do you employ in pursuing the Tao?”

Hyakujo answered,”I have no mental processes that would be of use, and no Tao to follow.


Tao Kuang asked, ”If both those statements are true, why is it that every Day you convene gatherings during which you urge others to learn how to follow the Tao by means of Zen?”

Hyakujo said, ”This old monk does not possess even a dot of ground in which to stick and awl.”

”Why, master, you are lying to my face!” Exclaimed Tao Kuang.

Hyakujo replied,”How can this old monk, being without tongue to urge people, tell a lie?”

”I do not understand the way the venerable Zen master talks,” said tao kuang. whereupon Hyakujo said, ”nor does this old monk understand himself.”

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