Where to Meet after Death

Dogo paid a visit to his sick fellow monk, Ungan. "Where can I see you again if you die and leave only your corpse?" Dogo asked. "I will meet you where nothing is born and nothing dies," Ungan replied. Dogo criticised his response saying, "What you should have said is that there is no place where nothing is born and nothing dies and that we need not see each other at all."

Some people eat together, sleep together, but never really meet. Did Dogo and Ungan really meet? There are many living corpses moving around. The true meeting in life is the meeting of life. Unless one has true understanding, one hears without really hearing, sees without really seeing. If Dogo and Ungan were really enlightened, such sophisticated mondos (questions-and-answers) would be unnecessary. Just clasping each other's hand would be more than enough. Genro wrote a poem on this koan:

The old plum tree is in full bloom;
The southern branch owns the whole spring - 
So does the northern branch.


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