Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Hit Me- Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1476 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Hit Me- Khenpo Sodargye
« on: April 13, 2016, 06:03:01 am »

Hit Me

In order to bring about their disciples’ sudden revelations, great masters throughout history at times employed some peculiar training methods besides using gentle words.

Naropa, when following Tilopa, underwent 12 major and 12 minor hardships. Finally, one day Tilopa grabbed Naropa’s throat with his left hand and with his right hand he took off his sandal and hit his disciple on the forehead with it. Naropa lost consciousness. When he came to, all the qualities of his teacher had arisen in him. The teacher’s wisdom and the disciple’s mind had become one in realization.

Zen master Liao Yi of the Song Dynasty at 17 paid a formal visit to Master Gao Feng and was given the pith instruction of meditating on “all phenomena converged to be one”. One day when seeing snowflakes fallen from pine branches, Liao Yi was inspired to write a poem which he submitted to his teacher. Giving no chance for explanation, the master lifted a wooden stick and hit the student down into a deep ravine. With painful wounds all over his body, Liao Yi reflected on the nature of the mind and finally reached the stage that is beyond all fixation and conception. He left these beautiful lines:

Gone swiftly is all the snow covering the vast land, once the sun appears.
My doubt in Buddhas and the fixation on east, south, west, or north, likewise, are now all vanished.

When Zen master Huang Bo took Lin Ji as his disciple, he hit him 61 times with sticks and made him the most outstanding Zen master in generations. There is a saying about Zen schools: “Lin Ji is like a war general, while Cao Dong is like a field farmer.” It’s obvious that Lin Ji, while carrying on the lineage tradition, also has developed his own unique Zen style that even surpasses his teacher’s.

When, if ever, will my Guru give me a hit on the head?

21st of January, Year of RenWu
March 4, 2002


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