PZI Teacher Archives
Hanging by Your Teeth (GG5)
The teacher said, “It’s as though you were up in a tree, hanging from a branch with your teeth. Your hands and feet can’t touch any branch. Someone appears beneath the trees and asks,
‘What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West?’
If you do not answer, you evade your responsibility. If you do answer, you lose your life. What do you do?”
—Gateless Gate Case 5
Hanging from a Branch by Your Teeth
Predicament koans give a nod to the perilous, loony nature of life right now. It is the dangerous situation of being alive—anything can happen. Linji said, “We can’t stay here long,” so relish it! Even in the middle of a disaster you can have a marvelous time. What constitutes a predicament? You oppose what is happening, by overlaying what should be going on. Music for meditation from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding. Recorded in the Sunday Temple on September 11, 2022.