Yaoshan Weiyan
Japanese pronunciation: Yakusan Igen
Mt. Yaoshan (Medicine Mountain)    Alone Respectful
born: 751
died:  834   83 years

place:  China
Chan masters:  Shitou (J., Sekito), Mazu (J., Baso)
Chan disciples:  Daowu (J., Dogo), Yunyan (J., Ungan),
Baishu, (J. Haiju), Baiyan (J. Hyakugan), Yaoshan Gao,
Xiangguo, Chuanzi, Changshi, Li Ao, ...
oshobob  The Living Workshop                                           
Zen Masters
Yakusan had not given a discourse for some time when,
one day, the head monk came and said, "The
congregation of monks are thinking about your
preaching a sermon."

Yakusan said, "Ring the bell!"

The superior banged away at the bell, but when all the
monks gathered, Yakusan went back to his room. The
head monk followed him and said, "The master was
going to give a talk, and the monks are all ready; why
didn't you say anything to them?"

Yakusan said, "There are sutra priests for the sutras,
shastra priests for the shastras; why do you question my

Why do you question that I have left the congregation?
Neither am I a sutra priest, nor am I a shastra priest. I am
myself. I expound my own experience, and I have
expounded enough.

"I have said the unsayable in as many ways as it was
possible to say it. I have expressed the inexpressible in
thousands of ways, and so many people have become
enlightened. Now all these meditators should sit by the
side of those who have become enlightened. I have done
my work, now I want to retire. Seeing the utter futility of
saying anything, I wanted to retire from the very first day
when I became enlightened. But because of my
compassion, my love, and thousands of people coming
with such thirst, I remained; I did not go into retirement,
into silence. I hoped that perhaps their thirst may help
them. The deeper their thirst ... I will be able to reach
them with my words, with my silences, with my gestures.
Perhaps if a thousand people come, one person may
become enlightened. For that every effort is worth

Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment, ch. 2
Chinese simplified:  药山惟俨
Mt. Yaoshan, where Zen master Yaoshan Weiyan resided,
is in modern Hunan Province, China, in the northwest
section -- see green asterisk on map below: