Shishi Shandao
Jap., Sekishitsu Zendo
Stone Room   Virtuous Dao
born:  c. 760
died:  c. 830

place:  China
Chan masters:  Shitou (J. Sekito), Changzi (J.
Chan disciples:  none recorded


The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, ch 6,
ch. 7

Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest, ch.
4, ch. 15
Gyozan said to Sekishitsu, "Tell me what to
believe in and what to rely on?"

Sekishitsu gestured across the sky above, three
times with his hand, and said, "There is no such

Gyozan asked, "What do you say about reading

Sekishitsu replied, "All the sutras are out of the
question. Doing things that are given by others is
dualism of mind and matter. And if you are in the
dualism of subject and object, various views arise.
But this is blind wisdom, so it is not yet the Tao.

"If others don't give you anything, there is not a
single thing. That's why Bodhidharma said,
`Originally, there is not a single thing.'

"You see, when a baby comes out of the womb,
does he read sutras or not? At that time, the baby
doesn't know whether such a thing as buddha
nature exists or not. As he grows up and learns
various views, he appears to the world and says,
`I do well and I understand.' But he doesn't know
it is rubbish and delusion.

"Of the sixteen ways or phases of doing, a baby's
way is the best. The time of a baby's gurgle is
compared to a seeker when he leaves the mind of
dividing and choosing. That's why a baby is
praised. But if you take this comparison and say,
`The baby is the way,' people of the present days
will understand it wrongly."

And that is true even today.

When I am saying to you, "Be nothing," I am
saying in other words, "Be just a newborn baby, a
pure consciousness, undivided into knowing and
not knowing. The baby's consciousness is pure. It
knows nothing, it does not even know that it is."

You must have heard small babies talk about
themselves as separate persons. They may say, "
The baby is hungry. The baby is thirsty." The "I"
takes a little time to grow. It takes at least three to
four years for society to create an ego so the
baby starts saying "I" – instead of saying, "The
baby" is hungry, "I" am hungry. And the moment
the baby says, "I am hungry," he is no longer a
baby. He has entered into the world, he has
graduated, in a way.

But according to Zen, once again you have to
become just like the baby. This second childhood
is the greatest revolution possible...

The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, ch. 7
  oshobob  The Living Workshop                                
                                               Zen Masters