Opening Speech of Lazan

Lord Minwo built a monastery for Lazan and asked him to make the first speech in the lecture hall as master of the institution. Lazan took his seat, put on this robe, took it off, and said, "Farewell!" Then he left the hall. Lord Minwo approached him, saying, "Buddha's teaching at Vulture's Peak must have been the same as yours of today." Lazan answered, "I thought you were a stranger to the teaching, but now I discover you know a little Zen."

It is said that the best sermon the Buddha ever gave was at Vulture's Peak (Grdharkuta Mountain in India) when he held a flower before the congregation and smiled. Only his disciple Kasapa understood. This silent lecture and transmission was the beginning of Zen. Lord Minwo compares Lazan's lecture to the Buddha's silent lecture. But Lazan knows that the earnest truth-seeker always comes with an empty mind. Knowing a little Zen is worse than knowing none at all.


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