PZI Teacher Archives
Tortoise Mountain Wakes Up (BCR22)
Yantou and Xuefeng were snowed in on Tortoise Mountain.
Day after day, Yantou slept while Xuefeng sat up and meditated.
On the third day, Yantou sat up too and said, “Get some sleep. What do you think you are, a roadside shrine?”
Xuefeng touched his chest and said, “My heart isn’t at peace. I can’t fool myself.”
Yantou gave a great yell. “HAAA! Don’t you know that the family treasure doesn’t come in through the gate?” he said. “Let the teaching flow out from your own breast to cover the sky and the earth.”
Xuefeng was suddenly enlightened and cried out, “Today Tortoise Mountain has finally awakened!”
—Blue Cliff Record, Case 22
Dharma Theme: In the Wild – Mountain Koans & Poems
Eventually you come to a place where you can’t go on and you can’t go back. You have arrived at the base of cliffs; you can’t scale them, you can’t get around them, and there’s no handy tunnel through them. It’s a daunting place—that’s the point of it. And when you arrive here your life and your journey can become your own.