Kasan

‘Master Kasan quoted, “To study is mon [the character meaning ‘hear’]. To cut off study is rin [the character meaning ‘near’]. Above these two there is shin [the character meaning ‘true’].”
A monk asked, “What is shin like?”
Kasan answered, “To be able to beat the drum.”
The same monk asked again, “The essence of shin, what is it like?”
Kasan answered, “To be able to beat the drum.”
The monk asked once more, “I won’t ask about the-mind-as-it-is-being-Buddha, but the no-mind-no-Buddha, how about that?”
Kasan answered, “To be able to beat the drum.”
The monk asked again, “If a person who is earnestly and wholeheartedly seeking for the truth comes to you, how will you treat him?”
Kasan answered, “To be able to beat the drum.” (quoted in The Sound of One Hand)

Apparently the ‘answer‘ to this is ‘boom, boom, boom, boom’, and frankly I am not surprised, though to my taste, two ‘booms’ would be sufficient (perhaps recalling early memories). The monk exhausts all the stages he can think about, and still gets nothing special. Perhaps if he can burn through the seeking, the drum will appear for him, just waiting to be hit.

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