Emperor Taishu's Dream

Emperor Taishu of the Sung dynasty dreamed one night of a god who appeared and advised him to arouse his yearning for enlightenment. In the morning the Emperor summoned the official priest and asked, "How can I arouse yearning for enlightenment?" The priest made no reply.

Emperor Taishu already yearns for enlightenment; his dream is proof of it. To begin with, enlightenment is not "there" to look for. And the Emperor's very question reveals his dichotomised thinking. The priest knows that the Emperor's whole way of thinking must be destroyed.


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