As a fish in a pool rises when the waves are stirred

The Perfect Master

What moves belongs to the element of air and wind;

What does not move belongs to the element of earth;

And what both moves and does not move has no being in itself.

If you think to grasp the moving,

it will hold hold itself motionless.

And if you try to grasp the motionless,

it will take to moving,

“as a fish in a pool rises

when the waves are stirred.”

Hence, the moving and the motionless

are of two types of circumstance.

But the man of the Way,

who does not depend on anything,

makes use of both the

moving and the motionless.

Students flock to a Zen master from all parts of the world.

He sorts them according to the three kinds of root-ability.

If a middling to low one comes,

the master snatches away the circumstance but leaves him the Enlightenment.

If one with a middling to high ability comes,

the master snatches both the circumstance and the Realization.

If one with an exceptionally high ability comes,

the master snatches neither the circumstance nor the realization of the man.

And if there should come one whose understanding is outside the norm,

the master acts from Wholeness

without bothering about the root-ability.

If one has reached this,

he is so firm and strong that no storm can pass through,

Immediate as spark flies from flint, or lightning flares.

If a Zen student has the true eye,

nothing further needs to be said.

All deliberation of heart misses the target.

All movement of thought goes to a contrary end.

If one can understand this, they are not different from the One here.

6 thoughts on “As a fish in a pool rises when the waves are stirred

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