Seeing Falling Snow

The enlightened truly see
what they see.
The unenlightened falsely see
what they see.

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When the Layman [Pang Yun] decided to leave Yueh-shan’s temple, Yueh-shan instructed ten novice monks to escort him to the front gate. At that time, the Layman pointed to the falling snow and said, “The snow is so beautiful; each flake lands in the same place.”

One among the group of monks asked, “Where do they fall?” The Layman slapped him.

Another of the monks said, “Aren’t you being a bit cheeky?” The Layman said, “What about you? Calling yourself a novice monk when Mara [who represents delusion] still has a hold on you.”

The monk said, “What do you mean?” The Layman slapped him also, and said, “Looking but not seeing; speaking but saying nothing.”

– The Sayings Of Layman P’ang
  Translated By James Green

Commentary: The snowflakes do not physically fell in the same place. However, they do fall in the same place too – in the minds of the perceivers. As the first monk did not understand this, the layman slapped him to awaken him. The second monk thought the layman was being tricky, and and was chided for being deluded despite being a monk, not seeing his point. Thus, he was slapped too, to awaken him, who also does not really see what is the most immediate and fundamental – his mind, and does not really ask or reply with what is meaningful. [- Shen Shi’an]

Related Article:
The Silent Yet Noisy Falling Tree

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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