PZI Teacher Archives

Bodhidharma's Vast Emptiness (BCR1)(BS2)


Emperor Wu asked the great teacher Bodhidharma,
“What is the first principle of the holy teaching?”
Bodhidharma said, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”
“Who are you, standing here in front of me?” asked the Emperor.
“I don’t know,” said Bodhidharma.
The Emperor didn’t understand.

—Blue Cliff Record Case 1 & Book of Serenity Case 2

(translation by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland,
titled: Bodhidharma, the Buddha-Heart Emperor, and the Magical Duke)