Guishan Lingyou
Japanese pronunciation: Isan Reiyu
Mt. Guishan     Spirit Protect
born:  771
died:  853   82 years

place:  China
Chan master:  Baizhang (J., Hyakujo)
Chan disciples:  Yangshan (J., Kyozan),...

Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky (entire book
uses stories of Guishan).

This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very
Essence of Zen, ch. 8, ch. 10

Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, ch. 2

Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, ch. 5, ch. 9

Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, ch. 7

Kyozan: A True Man of Zen, ch. 1

No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity, ch. 4, ch. 5

Christianity the Deadliest Poison, and Zen the
Antidote to all Poisons, ch. 8

The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, ch.

The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, ch. 2, ch. 34
Mt. Guishan is in modern Hunan Province, China.  
It is sometimes romanized as "Weishan", for some
unknown reason.

posthumous name: Dayuan Dashi (Great
Perfection Master)

aka: Kuei Shan Ling Yu (old W.G.)
           oshobob  The Living Workshop                                          
                                                         Zen Masters
One night Guishan was in attendance on Baizhang,
sitting till late in the quietness of the mountain temple.
"Who are you?" Baizhang asked.

"Lingyou," replied Guishan.

"Rake in the fireplace," instructed Baizhang.

Guishan did as he was told and said, "I find no
embers left."

Baizhang took up the tongs and, raking deep down,
brought up a tiny burning ember, which he showed to
Guishan, and said, "Just this, you see!"

Guishan was suddenly enlightened.

He bowed deeply and related his point of realization
to Baizhang, who said, "You have reached a
crossroads on the buddha nature; you should
observe time and causation. When the time comes,
you will realize it, just like remembering something
you have forgotten. It is not obtained from others.
Therefore, when you are enlightened, your original
nature manifests itself. Now you have attained it –
carefully cultivate it."

This is a very significant statement of Baizhang. You
cannot cultivate enlightenment, that will be phony.
You can walk like a buddha, you can manage to sit in
the lotus posture – it may take a little time for you, the
bones... and particularly people coming from the West
will find it more difficult. Colder countries devise
chairs; hotter countries have no problem in sitting on
the floor. But in colder countries, to sit on the floor is
difficult. So if Buddha is sitting in the lotus posture,
that does not mean that you have to sit in the lotus
posture, only then you will become a buddha. You
can practice it – there are many idiots who are doing
that, unnecessarily torturing themselves.

Buddhahood is your nature, so you cannot cultivate it.
But what Baizhang means is totally different. He is
saying, “Now that you have attained it – carefully
cultivate it.” This attainment is so new, it is possible to
fall back into darkness. It is possible to start thinking
again that it may have been an imagination. All kinds
of possibilities are there...

             Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, ch. 1
Chinese simplified: 沩山灵佑
Note:  In his original English talks,
Osho used the Japanese
pronunciations of the Chinese names
used in these stories, to a large extent.
In his books the names were
romanized using Japanese
romaji. In
the instances where Osho used the
original Chinese names, they were
romanized in the books using the old
Wade-Giles system, now seen very
infrequently in world wide usage.

The stories shown on this website will
attempt to revert to the more accurate
original Chinese identification, using
modern Chinese
pinyin romanization, if
the people and places are Chinese. If
they are Japanese, then Japanese
romaji will be retained.