PZI Teacher Archives

Following the Scent of Flowers (BCR36)

KOAN:

One day Changsha went wandering in the mountains. When he returned, the head of practice met him at the gate and asked, “Where have you been?”
“Wandering in the mountains.”
“Where did you go?”
“I went out following scented grasses and returned chasing falling blossoms.” “That’s so much the feeling of spring,” said the head of practice.
“Still, it’s better than autumn dew dripping on lotus flowers,” said Changsha.

Xuedou comments: “Thanks for your reply.”

—Blue Cliff Record Case 36 (transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland, title: Changsha Wandering in the Mountains)

Text September 28, 2020

Following the Scent of Flowers

John Tarrant

There’s a spaciousness inside all situations. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light, and around us. And we’re walking through that space and light. That, then, is the source of empathy and love. And we accompany each other—and we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously.

6789 Words