CHAN-SHIH TAI YUAN'S DUNG
(The secret of the Hua-tou Method)
To decide how Bodhisattvas should best save sentient beings, the quarreling monks agreed to ask the Master the following questions.
First they inquired, "Master, how do you regard sentient
(Putting a dung-like mental conception in front of the Master's nose.)
"The same as worthless dung," came the reply.
(Seeing all mental images to be like dung - he responded appropriately.)
"Are you saying that we shouldn’t save sentient
beings?" they asked.
(How can one save a mental conception which must suffer death as it was born?)
"The effort, itself, spreads more dung!" he said.
(How true. Gouging out flesh to save flesh is foolish. How does one put away mental conceptions using more?)
"Then how do we save sentient beings?" they asked.
(How do we transcend our mental conceptions reaching the othershore of thusness?)
"Put aside the conception of sentient being," spoke
(Makes perfect sense. Oh, what a logical reply!)
"And what is that like?"
(In other words, what is *that* which is free from all conceptions.)
"Dung!" the Master shouted.
(The sheer enunciativeness which utters "Dung" is truly free of every thought determination. This, incidentally, is the vadapatha/wordpath of the Buddha. In Zen we call it the Great Function. When one fully merges with it, Bodhicitta is born like unto a great energy according to Asanga.)