|born: c. 740
died: c. 810
Blue Cliff Record, Case 20
I Celebrate Myself: God is No Where, Life is
Now Here, ch. 5
oshobob The Living Workshop
after becoming a monk
under Ma Tzu,
came to Sekito and said, "If you settle this with
one word, I will stay here. If not, I will leave."
Sekito, knowing that this man had promise, made
a gesture, but Gosetsu did not get it. So Gosetsu
took his leave and made for the gate, when
Sekito called to him "Teacher!"
Gosetsu turned around, and Sekito said, "From
birth to old age, it is only the fellow there and
nothing else – don't look anywhere further."
At this, Gosetsu was greatly enlightened. He
stepped on his stick to break it and stayed there.
People who go on the mountains take a stick as a
support ... steep mountains. So he has come with
a stick to the mountain where Sekito Stonehead
was sitting on a rock.
You know that Ma Tzu said to another person
who was going to Sekito, "You are going. That's
perfectly good, but do you remember Sekito's
path is very slippery?" He was sitting on a rock
and the path was very slippery, so anybody who
had to go there had to bring a stick with him.
This action of Gosetsu, of breaking the stick,
shows that now he had found his master and
there was no need to go anywhere. He was not
going down that steep hill again. Finished! He
had heard it, he had found it. This gesture on his
part shows that now he is going to stay forever.
All bridges were broken. With that stick breaking,
all the bridges that lead backwards to the past
were finished. He had found the man, he had
fallen in love. He knew: "You are the master."
He became greatly enlightened by this simple act
of Sekito calling him – "Teacher!" – and his
turning around and Sekito saying to him: "This
fellow has been there always and always. Don't
I Celebrate Myself: God is No Where, Life is Now
Here, ch. 5