Yunyan Sweeps the Ground

Courtyard Fountain

As Yunyan was sweeping the ground, Daowu said, “Too busy.”
Yunyan said, “You should know there’s one who isn’t busy.”
Daowu said, “If so, then there’s a second moon.”
Yunyan held up the broom and said, “Which moon is this?”

From The Book of Serenity, Case 21

Note: The talk and discussion was preceded by an exercise on bowing. Group members were given Soto Zen full prostration instructions. They then bowed three times, as a group, at their cushion, at their own pace. Secondly, to a statue of a Buddha at the end of the room and then to me, the teacher. The chapter on bowing from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind was also handed-out.

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The koan to be practiced with until next class is from The Book of Serenity, Case 54:

Yunyan asked Daowu, “How does the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion so with so many hands and eyes?”
Daowu said, “It’s like someone reaching bakc for the pillow at night.”
Yunyan said, “I understand.”
Daowu said, “How do you understand?
Yunyan said, “All over the body is hands and eyes.”
Daowu said, “You said a lot there, but you got only eighty percent.” Yunyan said, “What about you, elder brother?”
Daowu said, “Throughout the body is hands and eyes.” 


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