Muso Soseki
aka: Muso Kokushi (National Teacher Muso)
born:  1275
died:  1351

place:  Japan
Zen master:  Koho Ken'nichi, ...
Zen disciples: ...
Dream Window    Remove Stone
Chin., Mengchuang Shushi

Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, ch. 3
Note: The 2nd and
3rd characters are
Japanese use
different ones.
     oshobob  The Living Workshop                                           
                                                 Zen Masters
Muso, the national teacher,
and one of the most illustrious masters of his day,
left the capital in the company of a disciple
for a distant province.

On reaching the Tenryu river
they had to wait for an hour
before they could board the ferry.
Just as the ferry was about to leave the shore
a drunken samurai ran up
and jumped into the packed boat,
nearly swamping it.
He tottered wildly as the small craft
made its way across the river.

The ferryman,
fearing for the safety of his passengers,
begged him to stand quietly.
"We're like sardines in here,"
said the samurai gruffly.
Then, pointing to Muso:
"Why not toss out the bonzae?"
"Please be patient," Muso said,
"we'll reach the other side soon."
"What!" bawled the samurai, "me be patient?
Listen here, if you don't jump off this thing
I swear I'll drown you."

The master's calm so infuriated the samurai
that he struck Muso's head with his iron fan,
drawing blood.

Muso's disciple had enough by this time,
and as he was a powerful man,
wanted to challenge the samurai.
"I can't permit him to go on living after this," he
"Why get so worked up over a trifle?" Muso said
with a smile.
"It's exactly in matters of this kind
that the bonzae's training proves itself.
Patience, you must remember,
is more than just a word."

Then he recited an extempore waka:
"The beater and the beaten:
mere players of a game
ephemeral as a dream."

When the boat reached shore,
and Muso and his disciple alighted,
the samurai ran up
and prostrated himself at the master's feet.
Then and there he became a disciple.

Seeking for something, desiring for something, is
the basic disease of the mind. Not seeking, not
desiring, is the basic health of your being.

It is very easy to go on changing the objects of
desire, but that is not the way of transformation.
You can desire money, you can desire power...
you can change the objects of desire – you can
start desiring God – but you remain the same
because you go on desiring.

The basic change is to be brought not in the
objects of desire, but in your subjectivity...

           Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, ch. 3