Dragon Singing in a Withered Tree

KOAN:

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’s singing in a withered tree?’
Shishuang said: ‘It still has joy,’

Text August 6, 2020

Knock on Any Door – Daoist Masters & Zen Koans

John Tarrant

So, whatever your condition is, you can see the “I have joy.” Out of that emptiness, out of what seems unpromising—the dark material, the valley spirit, the enigma, out of the mystery, out of what I don’t understand—it just appears. The joy just appears.

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