‘Why is it that phenomenal existence is empty? If there is nothing within mind, then how does one explain how the myriad things arise? Isn’t it as if shadowy forms differentiate emptiness? This question is like someone grasping sound and placing it in a box, or blowing into a net to fill it with air. Therefore some old worthy said, “It’s not mind. It’s not Buddha. It’s not a thing.” Thus we just teach you brethren to go on a journey…
Although a single phrase of scripture is recited for endless eons, its meaning is never exhausted. Its teaching transports countless billions of beings to the attainment of the unborn and enduring Dharma. And that which is called knowledge or ignorance, even in the very smallest amount, is completely contrary to the Way. So difficult! So difficult!’ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage)

‘Some old worthy’ is of course Master Ma, Nansen’s teacher, always ready to turn things around to liberate those stuck to his previous formulation ‘this very mind is Buddha’. But if Nansen thinks it is difficult, perhaps he should take a lesson from Lingzhao.

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