a hairbreadth of difference

Gepubliceerdop sep 20, 2023

Shingon priest Kōgen, head abbot of the Ninna-ji visited Bankei at Jizō-ji. … Kōgen said to Bankei: “So far, all my efforts to discover the source of my own mind have been unsuccessful. Reading through the records of the Zen school. I have been deeply impressed by the severe, uncompromising methods that zen teachers use in leading students to the truth. I want you to use your skilfull means on me.”

“There is only a very thin fabric seperating you from your mind-source,” said Bankei. “But ‘if there is even a hairbreadth of difference, you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.'”

A moment passed.
“What is obstructing you right now!” said Bankei. Kōgen nodded in affirmation – than bowed in obeisance. After that he was a frequent visitor at Jizō-ji.

* from Hsin Hsin Ming (Seng-ts’an, third zen patriarch)

Uit: The Unborn – The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei. Translated by N. Waddell – revised edition. North Point Press, 2000, New York. p.172-173.

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