There’s a koan that goes: “There is a true person with no rank, who is always coming and going through the portals of your face.”
In Zen there’s a whole bunch of these little stories like this that are used for different purposes, as I’ve mentioned. So this — “The true person with no rank,” the true woman with no rank, the true man with no rank — is used as a kind of gate-opening koan.
If you start hanging around with it, it will change you from within, is the idea, and the thing with a great koan like this is that we always think there must be a right way to do it, but there’s no first principal and it’s got no rank, so maybe there’s not. And so you just do the best you can, which is yours…so the practice is for you. – John Tarrant, Roshi Fall Sesshin, 2019
Read John Tarrant Roshi’s entire talk from this sesshin.