34 Wisdom is not the Way.

Nansen said: Mind is not Buddha.
Knowledge is not the Way.
(The Koan-answer is the picture's caption!)

Nansen

It's raining today



An explanation of the Koan answer

Again a Koan to "explain" Buddhism paradoxically.
Buddhists live an ordinary life, Nansen says. Forget all they know and think to become mature (enlightened). An ordinary remark will do as an answer to this Koan.

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The background story of this Koan

Again a statement to compete with confucians scholars.
They've to learn through books to become mature enough for a goverment job. The Buddhist monks just meditate to forget what they ever learned, what the know about the Buddha.
The Koan answer must have been an embarrassment for their confucian competitors.

Story of the Koan

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The original Chinese Goang

Nanquan said, "Heart-Mind is not the Buddha;
wisdom is not the Way."

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Traditional Commentaries and .... Poems (Gata)

Mumon's comment: Nansen was getting old and forgot to be ashamed.
He spoke out with bad breath and exposed the scandal of his own home. However, there are few who appreciate his kindness.

Wumen says:Nanquan may be called old and unconscious of shame.
He just opens his stinky mouth and acclaims the family’s disgrace outside. So, although it is thus, be aware that persons of such kindness are few.

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The Gata

When the sky is clear the sun appears,
When the earth is parched rain will fall.
He opened his heart fully and spoke out,
But it was useless to talk to pigs and fish.

The heavens clear up and the sun begins to come out,
The rain falls to the ground and increases the wetness.
[MM 47] He exhausted the conditions saying it all.
I just fear the evidence is inadequate.

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