The Snow Does Not Fall Elsewhere

photo of snowy field
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There is no fairness;
there is only karma.
There is no unfairness;
there is only karma.

— Stonepeace | Get Books

One winter day, while Pang was leaving the monastery of Master Yao Shan, some young monks, who were disdainful of his status as a mere layman, accompanied him to the front door. When Pang looked outside, he saw that it was snowing. “Good snow!” he said. “The flakes do not fall elsewhere.” A monk named Quan, who was as impudent as he was stupid, completely missed the wit in Pang’s remark. He mocked the Layman, asking sarcastically, “Where did you expect the flakes to fall?”

Now, Pang was good-naturedly complimenting the snow for not falling in the kitchen or the meditation hall, that is to say, for falling where snow was supposed to fall — in the courtyard and fields, on the trees and roads. Pang knew that he would have to walk a long distance in that bitterly cold snow, and he had accepted that fact without distress.

But Pang not only had the wisdom of a master, he had the temper, too. When he saw the sneer on the young monk’s face, he struck him. “How dare you!” said the monk. “And you’re an ordained monk?” asked Pang incredulously. “Why, you’d be rejected at Hell’s gates!” “Just what do you mean by that?” demanded the monk. Pang struck him again. “I mean that though you have eyes, ears and tongue, you’re absolutely blind, deaf, and dumb.” Then he calmly went out into the snow as if it were just so much sunshine. He had given the monk quite a lesson.

Empty Cloud: The Teachings of Xu Yun
A Remembrance of the Great Chinese Zen Master
Compiled from notes and recollections of Jy Din Shakya
and related to Chuan Yuan Shakya & Upasaka Richard Cheung

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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