Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind.
One said, “The flag moves.”
The other said, “The wind moves.”
They argued back and forth but could not agree.
Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch, said: “Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves.”
The two monks were struck with awe.
When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.
At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!
In commemoration, she wrote a poem:
In this way and that I tried to save the old pail Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break Until at last the bottom fell out. No more water in the pail! No more moon in the water!
The questioner continued, ” I had the impression that once you got enlightenment, you got it.”
Jiyu-Kennet said, “Once you have realized it, you will always know it. But if you don’t keep your training up, heaven help you; you’ll be worse off than you were before. It’s not something that you ‘get’; it’s not something that you ‘keep’ for eternity. Training, as Dogen says, is enlightenment. This is why Shakyamuni Buddha always carried his begging bowl and always wore his robe. A lot of people think, “Why didn’t he just sit back and enjoy it?” Enlightenment isn’t something you have; it’s something you are, something you do.
From: The Hidden Lamp
Edited by Floence Caplow and Susan moon
At high noon,
Or in a moonless night,
There is a light.
Can you see it?
By the way, who are you?