It Is Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not Things

A monk asked Nansen, "Is there a teaching no Master ever preached before?" Nansen answered, "Yes." "What is it?' asked the monk. Nansen replied, "It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things."

This is a very difficult koan. The question really is: "Is the true Dharma (teaching) preachable or not?" When Nansen was asked if there was a teaching beyond words, he said, "Yes," obliging himself to describe it. Then he described it as not mind, not Buddha, not things. True Dharma is beyond words. The minute it is spoken, explained, or preached, it limits itself and is not the reality. All things and beings are in constant change. A thing that does not change is not reality; it is a concept.


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