Forty-seventh Patriarch
Dhyana Master
Lyang Ching

Commentary - Another Verse in Praise

Another verse says: I have taken the liberty to speak a few lines, although they are quite unnecessary. The Master did not leave any sayings or written works, but I am "adding feet to a painting of a snake," making these unnecessary additions. If these lines are correct, then let it be. If they are not correct, then forget them.

He acted by not acting, and practiced the teachings that could not be verbalized. His actions were unconditioned and effortless. Just as he engaged in actions, he also did away with them at the same time. His teachings were wordless teachings. He did not engage in the usual jabbering of ordinary people, saying things such as, "How are you," "Good morning," or "Good afternoon" and so forth. He did not get caught up with all that chit-chat. He preferred not to talk.

The ten thousand things thrive together -- what is transmitted? It is recorded in the Analects that Confucius once remarked, "I would prefer not to speak."

His disciple Dz Gung asked, "If you did not speak, what would we, your disciples, have to record?"

Confucius answered, "Does heaven speak? The four seasons follow their course, and all things are constantly being produced. But what does heaven say?"

The four seasons follow one upon another, the hundred things are produced, but does heaven make any comment? Does heaven say, "Oh, this should grow, and that should grow. Springtime, come quickly; autumn depart in haste!"? No, heaven does not offer up any opinion. This Dhyana Master probably had read the Analects and was bound by this kind of attitude. He figured that even Confucius didn't want to talk. By the same token, this Dhyana Master did not want to talk.

What news, what message is there to transmit? No news, no message. No records of his sayings remain, and very rare are samples of his Chan dialogues. He did not leave behind any sayings, and there are no records of his Chan dialogues with others. But he intently cultivated the field of his body and mind. He very truly put the teachings into practice. He cultivated very well by not fighting, not being greedy, not seeking for self-fighting, not being greedy, not seeking for self-gratification, not being selfish, not seeking personal advantage, and not lying. That was enough. He plowed the field of his body and mind.

The doors and walls are high; it is difficult to take a peep. It's not easy to understand his "doos and walls," his state. He did not try to take advantage of situations or socialize with people. Even if you tried to steal a glance, you wouldn't be able to see anything. The windows are closed tightly; it's harder yet to look in. The doors adn windows are tightly shut, and so you cannot look in.

Tsau Creek runs in front of Jeweled Grove Mountain, / Flowing on and on as it enters the great stream. This creek flows on and on for myriads of years as it enters the great stream.