Blue Cliff Record Fifth Case
Whoever would uphold the teaching of our school must be a brave spirited fellow; only with the ability to kill a man without blinking an eye can one become Buddha right where she stands. Therefore her illumination and function are simultaneous; wrapping up and opening out are equal in her preaching.
Principle and phenomena are not two, and she practices both the provisional and the real. Letting go of the primary, she sets up the gate of the secondary meaning; if she were to cut off all complications straight away, it would be impossible for late coming students of elementary capabilities to find a resting place. It was this way yesterday; the matter couldn’t be avoided. It is this way today, too; faults and errors fill the skies. Still, if one is a clear-eyed person, she can’t be fooled one bit. Without clear eyes, lying in the mouth of the tiger, one can not avoid losing one’s body and life.
This deserves a very careful reading. It is the practice of the Lost Coin Zen Clan. The principle is inseparable from phenomena. The principle, our enlightened nature, is inseparable from its manifestation: phenomena. The monastery is inseparable from the business office. She kills a woman to become a Buddha, she kills a Buddha to become a woman.
The practice of excellence, the brave spirit of expedient and free action, the ability to not be stuck in the absolute(the principle) sets up the gate of the secondary (the relative), a place for people to begin.
Who then is she who can kill and bring back to life – wield the scepter of the ocean and the waves simultaneously and escape the Mouth of the Tiger? Who is that person? Even Bodhidharma doesn’t know.