PZI Teacher Archives

Rhinoceros Fan BCR91)(BS25)


Once upon a time in China, the governor gave a rare fan carved of rhinoceros horn to a Zen master, who forgot about it. Then he remembered. One day, he called to his attendant, “Bring me the rhinoceros fan.” The attendant replied, “It is broken.” The master said, “In that case, bring me the rhinoceros.”

—Blue Cliff Record Case 91 & Book of Serenity Case 25 (PZI version)

See also: Yanguan’s Rhinoceros transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland


Excerpt November 15, 2017

Meeting the Inconceivable – from John Tarrant’s ‘Bring Me the Rhinoceros’

John Tarrant

You might think of consciousness as a lamp, making a cone of light on the surface of a desk. Outside the yellow circle everything is dark and unknown. The usual way of approaching things is to try to extend the yellow circle into the darkness. Or perhaps to drag objects in from the dark. That is conceivable. This meditation takes things the other way. n.d.

422 Words