44 Basho's Staff

Basho says, If you have a staff, I give you one.
If You don't have, I'll throw it away.
(The Koan-answer is the picture's caption!)


Throw Something Away

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Zen Riddle #42-treasure :
Does the treasure room opens by itself and lets you use it at will?
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#50-wood #31-sitting #21-karma mumonkan

The original Chinese Goang

Venerable Bajiao taught the assembly saying, "If you have a 'crutch', I give you a crutch. If you are without a crutch, I snatch your crutch."

What next?

Traditional Commentaries and .... Poems (Gata)

Mumon's comment: When there is no bridge over the creek the staff will help me.
When I return home on a moonless night the staff will accompany me.
But if you call this a staff, you will enter hell like an arrow.

Wumen says: It helps fording across the river of the broken bridge.
It’s my companion returning to the moonless village.
If you call it or take it for a crutch you enter hell like an arrow.

What next?

The Gata

With this staff in my hand
I can measure the depths and shallows of the world.
The staff supports the heavens and makes firm the earth.
Everywhere it goes the true teaching will be spread.

The various methods deep and shallow.
All exist within the grasp of his palm.
Propping up Heaven goes together with supporting the Earth.
Following this point rescues the style of the lineage.

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