Dogen

‘One day, while Guishan was lying down, Yangshan Huiji came to see him. Guishan turned to face the wall.
Yangshan said, “I am your student. Please don’t be so formal.”
Guishan started to get up.
Yangshan rose to leave.
Guishan said, “Huiji.”
Yangshan returned.
Guishan said, “Let me tell you about my dream.”
Yangshan leaned forward to listen.
Guishan said simply, “Would you interpret my dream for me? I want to see how you do it.”
In response, Yangshan brought a basin of water and a towel. Guishan washed his face and sat up. Then Xiangyan came in.
Guishan said, “Huiji and I have been sharing miracles. This is no small matter.”
Xiangyan said, “I was next door and heard you.”
Guishan said to him, “Why don’t you try now?”
Xiangyan made a bowl of tea and brought it to him.
Guishan praised them saying, “You two students surpass even Shariputra and Maudgalyayana with your miraculous activity!” (quoted in Shobogenzo Jinzu – Miracles)

Sometimes I wonder if I should apologise for quoting Dogen so often, but then I can just open a page of the Shobogenzo at random and find a wonderful story on it. This is not such a well-known one, but it puts me in mind of another I shall try to dig out. I can imagine Nyogen Senzaki chidingly saying that Guishan spoiled his students and gave them big heads. So what is the miracle? What was the dream? Can you say it? Can you respond in this moment?

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