PZI Teacher Archives

Shoushan’s Three Shots at Getting It (BS76)


Shoushan said, “If you get it the first time, you’ll teach buddhas and ancestors. If you get it the second time, you’ll teach humans and angels. If you get it the third time, you won’t even be able to save yourself.”

A student asked, “When did you get it, teacher?”

Shoushan said, “The moon sets at midnight; I walk alone through the town.”

—Book of Serenity Case 76

Text November 15, 2017

The Moon Sets at Midnight

John Tarrant

We have such a passion to know and to be certain but, in practice, much of what we think of as knowledge is just untested thoughts. As the Heart Sutra says, even thoughts are empty, and if we are willing not to know, willing to walk through life without believing every thought that rises, then we’ll find a path out of suffering.

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