Being Time (1240)
An old buddha said:
For the time being, I stand astride the highest mountain peaks.
For the time being, I move on the deepest depths of the ocean floor.
For the time being, I'm three heads and eight arms.
For the time being, I'm eight or sixteen feet.
For the time being, I'm a staff or whisk.
For the time being, I'm a pillar or lantern.
For the time being, I'm Mr. Chang or Mr. Li.
For the time being, I'm the great earth and heavens above.
"The time being" means time, just as it is, is being, and being is all time.
The sixteen-foot golden buddha-body is time; because it is time,
it has time's glorious golden radiance. You must learn to see
this glorious radiance in the twelve hours of your day.
The three heads and eight arms is time; because it is time,
it can be in no way different from the twelve hours of your day.
Once, at the direction of the great master Wu-chi (Shih-t'ou; Sekito, 700-790),
Yueh-shan Hung-tao (Yakusan, 745-828) went to Zen master Chiang-hsi Ta-chi
(Ma-tsu; Baso, 709-788) with a question: "I 'm fairly conversant with
the three vehicles and the teaching of the twelve divisions. But what about
the meaning of the First Patriarch's coming from the west?" Ta-chi said:
For the time being, I let him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes.
For the time being, I don't let him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes.
For the time being, my letting him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes is correct.
For the time being, my letting him raise his eyebrows and blink his eyes is not correct.
When Yueh-shan heard this, he came to great enlightenment. He said to Ta-chi:
"When I was at Shih-t'ou's, it was like a mosquito on an iron bull."
Zen master Kuei-sheng of She-hsien was a Dharma descendent of Lin-chi, and
a direct Dharma heir of Shou-shan. Once he instructed the assembly of monks:
For the time being, the mind reaches but the word does not.
For the time being, the word reaches but the mind does not.
For the time being, the mind and word both reach.
For the time being, neither mind nor word reach.
The mind and the word are equally being-time. Their reaching and
not-reaching alike are being-time. Even when the time of their
reaching is not yet over, the time of their not-reaching is come.
Moreover, the mind is the time of the immediately present ultimate Dharma.
The word is the time of the key to higher attainment. Reaching is the time
of the body of total emancipation. Not-reaching is the time you are
"one with this and apart from this." You should attest and affirm thus;
you should being-time thus.
We should say:
Half-reaching of mind and word is also being-time.
Half not-reaching of mind and word is also being-time.
Written in Kosho Hörin-ji,
at the beginning of winter, the first year of Ninji (1240)
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