Xiangyan was once asked by a monastic, “What is the Way?”
Xiangyan said, “A dragon singing in a withered tree.”
Later, another monastic asked Shishuang, “What is the ‘dragon singing in a withered tree?'”
Shishuang said, “It still has joy.”
The monastic also asked Caoshan, “What is the ‘dragon singing in a withered tree?’”
Caoshan said, “The blood line is not cut off.”
The monastic asked, “Who can hear this?”
Caoshan said, “In the whole world, there is no one who does not hear it.
The monk asked, “What book is ‘dragon murmurings’ taken from?”
Caoshan said, “I don’t know what book it’s from, but all who hear it die.
—from Xuedou’s verse commentary on Blue Cliff Record Case 2
John Tarrant and Tess Beasley welcome everyone to Summer Sesshin. Participants add their voices, forming the vessel of sesshin. Music from Jordan McConnell, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher, and closing words from Jon Joseph.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Fall Sesshin – Evening dharma talk with John Tarrant. If you are chasing about, “Where will you meet today?” We forget we are free in every moment. The image of a withered tree. When we let everything come to rest, we hear the dragon murmurings. As recorded October 2 2020.