What Are You Doing! What Are You Saying!
In modern times a great deal of nonsense is talked about masters and disciplesand about the inheritance of a master's teaching by favorite pupilsentitling them to pass the truth on to their adherents. Of course Zen should be imparted in this wayfrom heart to heartand in the past it was really accomplished. Silence and humility reigned rather than profession and assertion. The one who received such a teaching kept the matter hidden even after twenty years. Not until another discovered through his own need that a real master was at hand was it learned that the teching had been impartedand even then the occasion arose quite naturally and the teaching made its way in its own right. Under no circumstance did the teacher even claim "I am the successor of So-and-so." Such a claim would prove quite the contrary.
The Zen master Mu-nan had only one successor. His name was Shoju. After Shoju had completed his study of ZenMu-nan called him into his room. "I am getting old he said, and as far as I knowShojuyou are the only one who will carry on this teaching. Here is a book. It has been passed down from master to master for seven generations. I have also added many points according to my understanding. The book is very valuableand I am giving it to you to represent your successorhip."
If the book is such an important thing, you had better keep it,Shoju replied. "I received your Zen without writing and am satisfied with it as it is."
I know that,said Mu-nan. "Even sothis work has been carried from master to master for seven generationsso you may keep it as a symbol of having received the teaching. Here."
They happened to be talking before a brazier. The instant Shoju felt the book in his hands he thrust it into the flaming coals. He had no lust for possessions.
Mu-nanwho never had been angry beforeyelled: "What are you doing!"
Shoju shouted back: "What are you saying!"