|born: c. 730
died: c. 800
Shitou (J. Sekito)
Chan disciples: 4 known as Zen masters
Zen: The Quantum Leap from Mind to No-mind,
I Celebrate Myself: God is No Where, Life is Now
Here, ch. 2, ch. 3
The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, ch. 8
| oshobob The Living Workshop
– a Confucian scholar – asked Daiten,
who had a monastery in the place of exile, "How
old are you?"
Daiten held out his rosary and said, "Do you
Kantaishi said, "No, I cannot understand."
Daiten replied, "In the daytime there are one
hundred and eight beads and at night there are
also one hundred and eight."
Kantaishi was very much displeased because he
could not understand this old monk, and he
At home his wife asked, "What makes you so
The scholar then told his wife all that had
"Why not go back to the monastery and ask the
old monk what he meant?" his wife suggested.
Next day, early in the morning, Kantaishi went to
the monastery, where he met the chief monk at
"Why are you so early?" the chief monk asked.
"I wish to see your master and question him,"
"What is your business with him?" the chief monk
asked. So the Confucian repeated his story.
"Why don't you ask me?" the chief monk inquired.
Kantaishi then asked, "What does `one hundred
and eight beads in the daytime and one hundred
and eight beads at night' mean?"
The chief monk clicked his teeth three times.
At last Kantaishi met Daiten and once more
asked his question, whereupon the master
clicked his teeth three times.
"I know," said the Confucian, "all Buddhism is
alike. A few moments ago I met the chief monk at
the gate and asked him the same question and
he answered me in the same way."
Daiten called the chief monk and said,
"I understand you showed him Buddhism a few
minutes ago. Is it true?"
"Yes," answered the chief monk.
Daiten struck the chief monk and immediately
expelled him from the monastery.
There are things which mind is naturally
incapable of understanding. The mind has
limitations, but our ego does not want to accept
the limitations of the mind.
Every sense has its own limitation. You cannot
see with your ears and you cannot hear with your
eyes. In the same way, you can see objects with
the mind but you cannot see the beyond, the
formless with the mind. To the mind it will look
absurd – just as to the blind man light is absurd
and to the deaf, no music exists in the world.
Those who have become too much identified with
the mind and unfortunately all the civilizations
and cultures that have existed in the world have
enforced and reinforced the mind....
Zen is alone and unique. It points beyond the
mind. So remember not to try to understand
rationally, intelligently. Only in deep meditation
and silence will you be able to feel the
significance of these small anecdotes. They have
something hidden in them, but it is not possible
for the mind to figure it out. Put the mind aside,
and suddenly you can see the truth which mind
was blocking. As far as Zen is concerned, mind is
a block to reality. Except mind, nobody is
hindering you declaring your buddhahood this
Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind,