The Grass Grows by Itself ~ 08

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event type discourse
date & time 28 Feb 1975 am
location Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Poona
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 32min. Quality: good.
online audio
video Not available
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle GRASS08
Reader of the sutras: Sw Ananda Teertha.
The sutra
Ninagawa-Shinzaemon, a linked-verse poet, and devotee of Zen, desired to become a disciple of the remarkable master, Ikkyu, who was abbot of the Daitokuji in Murasakino -- a violet field.
He called upon Ikkyu, and the following dialogue took place at the temple entrance.
Ikkyu: Who are you?
Ninagawa: A devotee of Buddhism.
Ikkyu: You are from?
Ninagawa: Your region.
Ikkyu: Ah. And what's happening there these days?
Ninagawa: The crows caw, the sparrows twitter.
Ikkyu: And where do you think you are now?
Ninagawa: In a field dyed deep violet.
Ikkyu: Why?
Ninagawa: Miscanthus, morning glories, safflowers, chrysanthemums, asters.
Ikkyu: And after they're gone?
Ninagawa: It is Miyagino -- the field of Autumn flowering.
Ikkyu: What happens in that field?
Ninagawa: The stream flows through, the wind sweeps over.
Amazed at Ninagawa's Zen-like speech, Ikkyu led him to his room and served him tea. Then he spoke this impromptu verse:
I want to serve
You delicacies.
Alas! The Zen sect
Can offer nothing.
At which the visitor replied:
The mind which treats me
To nothing is the original void --
A delicacy of delicacies.
Deeply moved, the master said:
My son, you have learned much.


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