Submitted By ashleytu1993
R/ST 341i: MW 3:30 pm
The Recorded Sayings of Chan Master Lin-chi
One of the greatest Zen Masters of all time, who spoke powerfully to awaken without compromise, was Ch’an Master Lin-chi. Among the most important texts of Zen literature, the Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi details the insights and exploits of the great ninth century Chinese Zen master Lin-chi, one of the most highly regarded of the T'ang period masters. This essay discusses about some main themes in the Record of Lin-chi.
“The Recorded Sayings of Chan Master” depicts the exchange between Lin-chi and the monk-questioner in much more vivid terms. Following the monk's question: "Who is the true man with no rank?” the passage continues Lin-chi provocations with "the Master got down from his chair, seized hold of the monk and said "Speak! Speak!" (Watson 1). The monk tried to say something. The Master let go of him, and said: "The true man with no rank-what a dried shit stick!" He then returned to his quarters." Lin-chi is really saying that the essential Buddha is the One who controls the physical body. This "true man without rank" has no form and is definitely not a fixed thing. The "true man" is intrinsically free from the basic qualities of material and mental phenomena. The One who sits upon this lump of red flesh is free of impermanence, suffering, and insubstantiality — what Buddhists call "the three marks" of conditioned phenomena. True nature is intrinsically free, now and forever ( Watson 1). This could be tied back to Buddhist concept of avoiding the antas, or extreme, and finding the middle ground, or Madhya in that the true man is neither on the road nor at home yet; he is both. A description of an arhat, or an enlightened body, a true man with no rank is just that, one who falls between the lines, never reaching or meeting the extremes and exemplifying the label of…...