Once Great Ancestor Ma and Baizhang were taking a walk when a wild duck flew by.
“What’s that?” asked Master Ma.
“A wild duck,” said Baizhang.
“Where did it go?”
“It flew away.“
The Great Ancestor twisted Baizhang’s nose, and Baizhang cried out in pain.
“When did it fly away?“ asked the Great Ancestor.
—The Blue Cliff Record, Case 53
A student asks Baizhang, “What is the most marvelous thing—a matter of special worth?” He answers, “Sitting alone on Mt. Courage Peak.” The vastness is always there, inside and outside. The possibility of imaginative responses in times of change. The wisdom of an indigenous storyteller who embodies a much longer timeline of radical earth changes. The freedom of not being you. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Dec. 13, 2020. Music posted separately.