Koan of the week – Lingyun was wandering in the mountains



This is a story from China twelve hundred years ago.

Lingyun was wandering in the mountains and became lost in his walking. He rounded a bend and saw peach blossoms on the other side of the valley. This sight awakened him and he wrote this poem:

For thirty years I searched for a master swordsman.
How many times did the leaves fall
and the branches break into bud?
But from the moment I saw the peach blossoms,
I’ve had no doubts.

Centuries later the Japanese teacher Keizan responded with his own poem:

The village peach blossoms didn’t know
their own crimson
but still they freed Lingyun
from all his doubts.

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