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.”
PZI Zen Online Audio: Fall Sesshin – Evening dharma talk with John Tarrant. If you are chasing about, “Where will you meet today?” We forget we are free in every moment. The image of a withered tree. When we let everything come to rest, we hear the dragon murmurings. As recorded October 2 2020.
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.