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Without Words, Without Silence

A monk asked Fuketsu: `Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?'

Fuketsu observed: `I always remember spring-time in southern China. The birds sing among innumerable kinds of fragrant flowers.'

Mumon's Comment: Fuketsu used to have lightning Zen. Whenever he had the oppurtunity, he flashed it. But this time he failed to do so and only borrowed from an old Chinese poem. Never mind Fuketsu's Zen. If you want to express the truth, throw out your words, throw out your silence, and tell me about your own Zen.

Without revealing his own penetration,
He offered another's words, not his to give.
Had he chattered on and on,
Even his listeners would have been embarrassed.

A Zen koan from the classic collection The Gateless Gate. Original transcription by Ben Walter and Adam Fuller of iBiblio.

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