By even speaking a phrase to you,

I have already doused you with dirty water.

It would be even worse for me to put a twinkle in my eye

and raise my eyebrow to you, or rap on the meditation seat

or hold up a whisk, or demand, “What is this?”

As for shouting and hitting, it’s obvious

that this is just a pile of bones

on level ground.


There are also the type

who don’t know good from bad and

ask questions about Buddha and Dharma and Zen

and the Tao. They ask to be helped, they beg to be received,

they seek knowledge and sayings and theories relating to

the Buddhist teaching and to transcending the world

and to accommodating the world. This is washing

dirt in mud and washing mud in dirt —

when will they ever manage

to clear it away?