The Ultimate Truth

A monk asked Gensha, "When the old Masters taught the Dharma wordlessly by gesturing with a gavel or a priest's wand, were they expressing the ultimate truth of Zen?' Gensha answered, "No." "Then," the monk continued, "what were they expressing?" Gensha raised his priest's wand. The monk asked, "What is the ultimate truth of Zen?" "Wait until you attain realisation," Gensha replied.

Although we are always exposed to the ultimate truth of Zen, it is hard to express it. Teachings only point to the truth; each person has to see it for himself. Most people, however, cling to their concepts and prejudices instead of seeing things as they really are. This monk was attached to the raising of a gavel or a wand - as if this could express the ultimate truth! Gensha tries to break the attachment by saying no. The negative answer is always a kind answer, though hard to understand.


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