Monday, May 27, 2013

The Three Holes of a Crafty Rabbit

A good Zen student is like a crafty rabbit with three holes. If the fox chases the rabbit into one hole, it still has another from which to escape.  
The first hole is being plain and ordinary, blending in with the circumstances to be invisible in plain sight.
The second hole is to be majestically straightforward and marvelously profound, appearing sometimes like a ten foot golden Buddha immobilizing the awe struck or like a demon frightening away the attacker.
The third hole is the minutely subtle manifestation of function taking its rest, removing all semblance of opposition and leaving no trace.

This function of the crafty rabbit can be seen in the koan of “Yangshan Sticking in a Shovel” that is Case 15 of the Record of the Temple of Equanimity (A.K.A. Book of Equanimity, Book of Serenity).

15th Standard:   Yangshan Sticking in a Shovel


            Raised:  Guishan asked Yangshan, “Where are you coming from?”

            Yang[shan] said, “From in the fields.”

            [Gui]Shan said, “How many people are in the fields?”

            Yang[shan] stuck down his shovel, folded his hands, and stood there.

            [Gui]shan said, “On South Mountain there are a great many people mowing thatch.”

            Yang picked up the shovel then walked away.



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