Without Words, Without Silence

March 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I always remember spring-time in southern China. The birds sing among innumerable kinds of fragrant flowers.”

Such was Fuketsu’s response to a monk’s question, “Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?”

Mumon’s comment on this, the 24th koan in The Gateless Gate, said that Fuketsu’s response “only borrowed from an old Chinese poem.”  Though I looked for it, I could not find the original poem which may have been lost to history.  Still.  I like the image of spring it portrays as today I saw two woodpeckers.  They were not singing but pecking rather intensely, the male on a tree and the female on a metal street lamp!  What spring does to the senses.

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