Xiang Yan hears the sound of stones striking bamboo 

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Sean Yen's monk name was The characters mean Wisdom Barrier I thought that was really interesting because he he very much had a wisdom barrier as part of his history and the barrier to wisdom was the barrier to wisdom in his case He saw himself separate?


You said he saw himself separate another way to put that was for him the barrier to wisdom was the way he saw things His understanding was a barrier to wisdom His mind was a barrier to wisdom So his teacher says Give me a word from before this barrier and finally the word came


and the word was apparently the sound of a stone hitting bamboo This is a word that came before this barrier arose Before his barrier consciousness was born So then he offers barriers to his students And some of the ancestors in this Zen tradition says that it's good for us to look at the barriers that ancient teachers offered and were offered that were the barriers that came to them and the barriers that they gave to their students So Xiong Yen offered to his students


A person has gone up a tree on a thousand foot precipice In her mouth she is biting a branch of a tree Her feet will not step on to the tree and her hands will not grab on to the branch Under the tree suddenly there appears a person who asks What was the ancestors What was the ancestral teachers intention in coming from the west Just at that moment if she opens her mouth to answer the other she loses her body and life and if she does not answer


she goes against what the other is asking Now say Just at such a moment What are you able to do Then one of the teachers in the group


Steps out of the assembly and says I do not ask about when she has gone up the tree I ask before she goes up the tree Please master say What is the situation then The master bursts out into laughter Silence Yes


What is the form of the question In the Zen school which has the what do you call it the legendary, the mythical the religious founder the spiritual archetype founder is the ancestor who came from India So when we ask What is the intention of the ancestor coming from the west We mean what is the intention of the buddhas So


Somebody is asking you What is the intention of the buddhas Yeah, but you are hanging by your teeth from the tree So how are you going to answer the question Are you going to let go It's already answered What does it sound like when you answer Yeah, but what does that sound like What does it sound like to hang by your teeth No, you are opening your mouth You are not hanging by your teeth anymore You let go


You said it was hanging by your teeth Yeah, it was already too late But I gave you another chance I gave you another chance So I gave you a second chance You mean a third chance What is the meaning of the ancestors coming from the west What is the intention of the ancestors coming from the west Are you biting the branch So you can't ask any more questions Any non-biters want to ask her a question She is done for Pardon Wrong


The right answer is biting the branch Biting the branch That's your situation, right So you just continue to bite the branch Except you don't say so If you say so, you just let go of the branch You did it too You are both dead I am sorry But you are always talking about pleasing the dentist I don't think the dentist would be liking this Unless you have false teeth Then they get more business Then you are dead It's a cycle Are you dead Yeah, well I didn't ask you the question


Xiangyan did I asked him like the other guy Before she goes up to treat How about that You need to bite Before you go up You haven't gone up yet Then what do you say You didn't laugh You didn't laugh The master laughed, you didn't She is laughing Now you are laughing Are you copying You are not quite ready to laugh I didn't laugh Because as close as you are going to come Yeah Good Then you like the master The master laughed Before you go up the tree You can laugh When somebody asks you


Or when somebody tells you About before the tree But once you are up the tree Biting the branch That's your job And it's not a very pleasant job Hard on your teeth Hard on your jaw muscles But you are motivated to keep biting You are also motivated to Help the person down below But they can see when they ask you They can see something They can see your effort So what is worth saying


What is so good to say That it's worth letting go Of the branch How about, I don't ask you about being up in a tree. I ask about before going up.


Is that worth? Is that a good response to this request for the intention of the ancestor? Is that yourself before you were born? This afternoon, it seems like if you're biting that branch, that's your response. That's what you need to do. But if you're biting the branch, it could also be for you to say what the monk in the


assembly said. As you're falling through space, you can say, what about before I got up in this tree? Is that a word from before going up in the tree? Yeah, I'm tired. I'm tired of holding on. I was tired of holding on to that branch. I was tired. Please ask my successor. I thought it was worth saying that I happened to be tired and I thought that would be useful


to tell somebody. But I just happened to be too tired to answer your question. And I really wasn't too tired to hold on to the branch more. I was wanting to tell you I'm too tired to answer your question. So you should ask my successor. My teacher is the one who got me in this situation. But I didn't let go because I was tired, I let go because I wanted to help. But the way I wanted to help was to tell that I was too tired to say anything other than that. Now is that, I'm too tired, the same as before I went up in the tree? Doesn't sound like it.


Does what it's like before I was born and before I went up in the tree, does that sound like it? He says yes, it does sound like it. Does sounding like it mean that it is it? Or just that it sounds like it? Just that it sounds like it. David? Once you begin thinking about sounding like or not, then no. But if you just throw it out, sound like it, yeah.


Did somebody say it didn't sound like it? Who was that? Who was that? Where is he? Is he with us any longer? Yeah. Really? What's his name? Any further offerings this afternoon that you care to make?


Yes? The sight of hanging from the tree seems like hearing the sound of the wasp that he heard this morning, David? The pebble hitting the... Hanging by... Hanging from the branch sounds like the sound of the pebble hitting bamboo? No, it feels like there's something similar, like it could be a moment of that kind, just silently hanging from the branch. Does the person who's looking up and seeing that, do they hear the sound of the stone


hitting the bamboo? They could. Then why do they ask what the intention of the ancestor coming from the west? Maybe they weren't ready to hear the sound. I thought you said they did hear the sound. That I'm reconsidering. You're reconsidering? If I don't hear it, how would I know? As a gift in support of the person hanging from her tree. Pardon? As a gift in support of the person hanging by the tree. Yeah. Or as a gift to support the person hanging by their teeth from the tree.


To let them know that you appreciate their effort. That their effort has not been... That their effort has been fruitful. That you heard... You heard the meaning... You heard the intention of the ancestor coming from the west. That word that is translated as intention can also be translated as meaning. But instead of saying, Ah, here's the intention of the ancestor coming from the west. The ancestor came all the way from India, hanging from a branch that he was biting. And he went to visit the emperor,


and he was able to talk to the emperor while continuing to bite the branch. He didn't let go of the branch when he talked to the emperor. The emperor asked him questions, and he said, for example, I don't know, but he didn't let go of the branch when he said that. But the emperor didn't realize that he was biting a branch when he said, I don't know. So the emperor didn't understand. So he went and sat facing a wall for nine years, biting the branch. Yes?


You have a little story? Okay, let's hear the little story. Were these Italian dogs? One's from Napoli and one's from Genoa. And the dog from Napoli says, I'm going to eat that bone first, and he runs and grabs the bone, puts it in his mouth, bites on it really hard. And the dog from Genoa is saying, Hmm, he's got the bone. So the lazy dog says to the dog from Napoli, Where are you from? The Genoan dog asked the Neapolitan dog, Where are you from?


Where are you from? And he says, Napoli. He drops the bone. And this dog grabs it right away. And he goes, I got the bone. But when he said, I got the bone, he dropped the bone. Okay. He thought. He thought. He thought to himself quietly. He was smiling happily. Yeah. The dog from Napoli finally says to him, Well, okay, now you got the bone. Where are you from? And he goes, Genoa. [...] Genoa is one of the few cities I can say, Keep your teeth together. It's very difficult to say, you know, It's hard to talk about, you know, But Genoa works really well. It's one of the great advantages of coming from Genoa.


Well, yeah. So now we have this branch to bite for the rest of our life. And we, We, We can respond, hopefully, To the various requests that are put to us. But keep biting that branch. And then that way, We can take care of the meaning of the ancestor coming from the West. And we can realize Who we are before we were born. By taking care of this, This great vehicle That the ancestor came to transmit. So, I hope that we can do this without getting tense.


May our intention equally Extend to every being and place With the true merit of our being. In the Buddha's way, Beings are numberless. I vow to save them. Doers are inexhaustible. I vow to end them. Dharma gates are harmless. I vow to enter them. Buddha's way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it. Thank you very much, Aileen, for organizing another day at Novood.


Thank you all for taking care of the Buddha way In this little temple of Novood for another day.