In Japan long ago a great minister called Yu Di asked a master who was called Xi Yu Daotang about a line in the scripture. So the minister, a high government official, asked the master about a line in the scripture.
“What is meant by ‘Because of unfortunate circumstances, fierce winds blew the ship off course and set it drifting toward the land of the flesh-eating demons?’”
[Rakshasas, they call them. They are demons whose existence is to eat human beings.]
And the master replied, “Minister, why are you so ignorant? Why are you asking about that?” And the minister’s face turned white.
And the master said, “Because of unfortunate circumstances, fierce winds blew them off course and set them adrift toward the land of the flesh-eating demons.”
And the minister understood.
PZI Zen Online Transcript: It’s a very strong thing to be human, you can be subjected to all sorts of great forces. And sometimes you can win through, and sometimes you die. But we’re all of us doing that, all the time. So I was thinking about friendship and how good it is to love each other and how good it is to have friends and to make peace in our hearts to meet each other. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.
Inquiring into being a Me, a Who, a Somebody, into What am I?, I lose ‘myself’ and then ‘Everything is true’! Why doesn’t that awareness stay? More interesting to have fun than to be ‘somebody’, but we cling to that. Asking ‘Who am I?’ has a subversive quality: it undoes the world you’re in, your identity. Then the radiance of the universe comes towards you, you’re drenched with the universe, because you’re not in the way.
Recorded Friday evening at PZI’s Winter Sesshin January 2017 on the eve of the inauguration. John Tarrant talks about waking up in a difficult time – when the ship is blown off course into demon country!