BLUE CLIFF RECORDS
MODEL SUBJECT NO. 25
TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY BY REV. SUZUKI
ZEN MASTER OF ZEN CENTER
Engo introducing the subject said, “If a man comes to a standstill at some stage, feeling spiritual pride in his enlightenment; he will find himself in a sea of poison. If he finds his words unable to astonish men of lofty spirit, then what he says is quite pointless.
If one can discern the relative and the absolute in the spark of a flint stone, and can apply the positive and negative way in right order, then one is said to have acquired the stage that is as stable as fathomless cliffs.
Attention! The hermit of Lotus Peak took up his staff and said to the crowds, “Look at my old staff, What was the intention of the Patriarchs of former days in using their staffs?”
Since the crowds had no answer, he himself answered, “They did not have to depend on their staffs.”
Then asking them what the supreme goal was, he answered for them again, “Carrying my palm-staff on my shoulder, without any compassion, I immediately enter the thousand, ten thousand peaks of the mountains.”