COMMENTARY BY MASTER SUZUKI ON MODEL SUBJECTS NO. 14 & 15 FROM THE BLUE CLIFF RECORD, UMMON ZENGI AND THE TEACHING GIVEN BY SHĀKYAMUNI DURING HIS LIFETIME
A traveling monk asked Ummon-zenji: “What is this first teaching [the Teaching told by Buddha during Buddha’s own lifetime]?”
Ummon replied: The teaching confronts each.
(Model Subject No. 14.)
The teaching given by Shākyamuni Buddha during his lifetime was accommodated to each disciple’s particular temperament, and to each occasion’s particular circumstances. For each case there should be a special remedy. According to the circumstances there should even be teaching other than the teachings which were told by Buddha. In the light of this, how is it possible to interpret and pass down an essential teaching which can be applied to every possible occasion and individual temperament?