died: c. 960
master: Luoshan (J., Razan)
Chan disciples: 5 recorded as masters
oshobob The Living Workshop
|Myosho was a disciple of Razan.
At his first
meeting with Razan, he jumped to his feet as
soon as he had made his bows, and Razan
asked him where he had come from. By way of
answer, Myosho asked, "What is it that is
happening just at this moment?"
Razan saluted him graciously, and said, "Have
Myosho hesitated, and Razan said, "It's a warm
autumn day; why don't you go out somewhere?"
Myosho sighed, and thought that he had started
off full of ambition, and it had all come to this, to
The next day he tried again, but Razan said,
"The feathers are not fully grown and the wings
are not strong enough yet; go away!"
Afterwards, when he was enlightened, Myosho
did not stay in one spot, but went round the
country converting all kinds of people.
Forty years later, when he was about to die,
Myosho ascended the rostrum and admonished
and instructed the monks. That evening he
stretched out his legs and said to the
monk-attendant, "Long ago, Shaka Nyorai
stretched out both legs, and a hundred
treasures of glorious light were emitted. Tell me,
aren't I emitting some?"
The attendant replied, "In ancient times, the
Crane Grove; today, your honor!"
Myosho rumpled his eyebrows and said, "Isn't
some fox making a fool of me?" He then recited
a gatha, sat in the proper way and quietly and
slowly passed away.
It is one of the specialties of Zen tradition that
people have lived consciously and people have
died consciously. Their death is also as silent,
as peaceful, as their life has been; death cannot
be otherwise. You are afraid of death because
you are afraid of life. If you love life, if you enjoy
life, if your life is a dance, you will never be
afraid of death because you know that you can
dance through death just as well as you can
dance in life...
Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest,