"You Are Sidetracked"

A Zen student told Unmon, "Brilliancy of Buddha illuminates the whole universe." Before he finished the phrase, unmon asked, "You are reciting another's poem, are you not?" 'Yes," answered the student. "You are sidetracked," said Unmon. Afterward, another teacher, Shishin asked his pupils, "At what point did that student go off the track?"

When one speaks honestly and sincerely, one should take the responsibility for one's words. Many people say "they say" or "men are" or "people talk." Instead, why doesn't one say "I am" or "I say"? Zen, like life, is always immediate and direct. Zen rejects the roundabout way because there is no surplus, no life to waste, no life to trifle with.


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