Sitting Alone on Mount Taiyu

A monk asked Hyakujo, "What is the most wonderful thing in life?" Hyakujo replied, "Sitting alone on the great Taiyu mountain." As the monk bowed, Hyakujo struck him.

Hyakujo was the successor of Baso and a most outstanding teacher. The emperor later gave him a special name: Daichi, meaning "great wisdom." The question the monk asks is the same as "what is the essence of Buddhism?" Hyakujo says it is to sit alone on the mount of supreme enlightenment (Mount Taiyu). Alone does not mean away from other. This alone-ness is not disturbed even in the midst of the turmoil of worldly life. If one attains the essence of Zen, even in a busy office one can have the same feeling and taste of life as Hyakujo on his Mount Taiyu. When the monk bowed, Hyakujo hit him as if to say, "Why bow like that to me? Get busy; wake up. You, too, should sit on the top of Mount Taiyu." 


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