Yanghshan dreamed he went to Maitreya’s realm and was led to the third seat. A senior monk struck the stand with a gavel, and announced:
“Today, the one in the third seat will preach!”
Yanghshan arose, struck the stand with the gavel, and said,
“The truth of the dharma is transcendent, beyond words and thought.”
Yunmen’s comment: “Did he preach or not?”
—Gateless Gate, Case 25
Summer is a time of dreams. Dreams, summertime, and koans have a lot in common. It is a time of permeability, to feel your way. Things that come out of the depths are what will get us through, but we can also have a strange resistance to them! The imagination is the bridge to the new. John shares Yangshan’s dream koan of being asked to teach from the third seat.