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The Gateless Gate, by Ekai, called Mu-mon, tr. Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps [1934] Tokusan was studying Zen under Ryutan. One night he came to Ryutan and asked many questions. The teacher said: "The night is getting old. Why don't you retire?" So Tokusan bowed and opened the screen to go out, observing: "It is very dark outside." Ryutan offered Tokusan a lighted candle to find his way. Just as Tokusan received it, Ryutan blew it out. At that moment the mind of Tokusan was opened. "What have you attained?" asked Ryutan. "From now on," said Tokusan, "I will not doubt the teacher's words." The next day Ryutan told the monks at his lecture: "I see one monk among you. His teeth are like the sword tree, his mouth is like the blood bowl. If you hit him hard with a big stick, he will not even so much as look back at you. Someday he will mount the highest peak and carry my teaching there." On that day, in front of the lecture hall, Tokusan burned to ashes his commentaries on the sutras. He said: "However abstruse the teachings are, in comparison with this enlightenment they are like a single hair to the great sky. However profound the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this enlightenment it is like one drop of water to the great ocean." Then he left that monastery.   Mumon's comment: When Tokusan was in his own country he was not satisfied with Zen although he had heard about it. He thought: "Those Southern monks say they can teach Dharma outside of the sutras. They are all wrong. I must teach them." So he traveled south. He happened to stop near Ryutan's monastery for refreshments. An old woman who was there asked him: "What are you carrying so heavily?" Tokusan replied: "This is a commentary I have made on the Diamond Sutra after many years of work." The old woman said: "I read that sutra which says: 'The past mind cannot be held, the present mind cannot be held, the future mind cannot be held.' You wish some tea and refreshments. Which mind do you propose to use for them?" Tokusan was as though dumb. Finally he asked the woman: "Do you know of any good teacher around here?" The old woman referred him to Ryutan, not more than five miles away. So he went to Ryutan in all humility, quite different from when he had started his journey. Ryutan in turn was so kind he forgot his own dignity. It was like pouring muddy water over a drunken man to sober him. After all, it was an unnecessary comedy.

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1 Ben N = "The moment of insight, known as satori, is not brought about by study and work - it happens when in a spontaneous flash; when we are caught off guard, when the rug is pulled out from under us. Or in Tokusan's case, when the candle is suddenly blown out, and he is left in the dark."
2 Ben N = "Enlightenment takes Tokusan beyond himself, beyond his own mind. He learns in that moment not to trust his own reason, his own thoughts, but to put his faith in the perfect wisdom of the Dharma."
3 Ben N = "In poetic language, the master Ryutan acknowledges the reality of Tokusan's insight. "
4 Ben N = "The commentaries represent Tokusan's life work up to that moment - the result of all his study and contemplation. By burning them, he demonstrates the absolute futility of trying to comprehend the Dharma with the reasoning mind. "
5 Ben N = "Everything that we can understand and grasp with our limited reasoning and perception - the vast body of human knowledge, science and philosophy - is but a tiny portion of the infinite mystery that is Reality."
6 Ben N = "Tokusan had spent his whole life analyzing the Dharma, full of doubts and suspicions. He wrote a great volume of commentary on the Diamond Sutra, which is a short and simple teaching on the Prajna Paramita, or "Perfect Wisdom." You can read the Diamond Sutra here on Deily: https://www.deily.org/buddhist-bible/the-diamond-sutra/the-diamond-scripture"
7 Ben N = "With one question, the old woman cuts through all of Tokusan's well though out arguments, and his intellectual armor. She shows him just how little he understands the Dharma, even after a lifetime of study."
8 Ben N = "Kindness and humility takes us beyond our own pride, beyond the social roles and the games that obscure who we truly are, deep down."