Mamiya Eishu (Jap. romaji)
born: 1871

Zen master:
Zen disciples:

No Water, No Moon, ch. 4
        oshobob  The Living Workshop                                           
                                                  Zen Masters
Mamiya later became a well-known teacher, but
while he was studying under a master he was
asked to explain the sound of one hand clapping.
Although Mamiya worked hard at it his master
said to him one day, "You are not working hard
enough. You are too attached to food, wealth,
things – and that sound. It would be better if you

The next time Mamiya came before the master,
he was again asked what he had to show
regarding the sound of one hand clapping.
Mamiya at once fell over as if he was dead.

"You are dead all right," said the master, "but
how about that sound?"

Looking up Mamiya replied, "Oh, I haven't
solved that one yet."

"What?" roared the master, "Dead men don't
speak. Get out!"

The absurd is needed to bring you out of your
mind, because mind is reasoning. Through
reasoning you cannot come out of it. Through
reasoning you will move and move, but you will
move in a circle.

That is what you have been doing for many
lives. One thing leads to another, but the
'another' is as much a part of the circle as the
first. You feel that you are moving because there
is change, but you are following a circle. You go
on moving about and about, around and around
– you cannot get out of it. The more you reason
how to get out, the more you create systems,
techniques, methods how to get out, the more
you become entangled into it. Because the basic
problem is: reasoning cannot bring you out
because reasoning is the very phenomenon that
you are in.

Something irrational is needed. Something
beyond reason is needed. Something absurd,
something mad – only that can bring you out. All
great masters have been devising things – their
devices are absurd. If you think about them you
will miss. You have to follow their line without any
reasoning. That's why philosophy is not of much
use. Only religion can be of help – religion is
absolute madness...

                        No Water No Moon, ch. 4
Chin., Jiangong Yingzong
also pronounced Mamiya Eiju

Mamiya Eiju was trained in the
traditional manner at Ryutaku-ji under
Tengan, Tenryu-ji under Gasan, and
Empuku-ji under Shaku Soen (from
whom he received
Dharma-transmission), but eventually
became an activist, forward-looking
Zen master as abbot of Hoko-ji.

Is this the "Mamiya" of this story, or is it
a Chinese Chan master of many
centuries before? I believe that story
comes from
The Transmission of the
(1004 CE), or another Chinese
Chan book, if memory serves me