Punching Right Through the Gates of Your Face

TEACHER: Jeff Warren
THEME: Punching Right Through the Gates of Your Face
MEDITATION: Silent Illumination

Oh yes this will be good. Already I am so happy about this that I may not even show up. So for the meditation we’ll do a dead-simple Chan (Chinese Zen) practice called Silent Illumination where we’ll get all steeped in foreverness. Then what? We fight. Yeah, that’s right. In the meditation hall. Unfortunately Pat and Scott won’t allow paintball, so we’ll go it at like the the epic Zen dharma combatantsof yesteryear. I’m not even fooling. Get in a small group, one person is the challenger, one the defender. The challenger shouts some baffling koan-like questions to the defender, who must respond instantly and without deliberation. The challenger is then judged by the rest of the group on how spontaneous and appropriate their answer is. And then the battle continues. Sound intimidating? That’s nothing – had you lived in 8th century China, you might have come up against the fearsome Línjì Yìxuán, who once opened this can of Tang Dynasty whoop-ass on an unsuspecting monk:

  • The master said: “Upon the lump of red flesh there is a True Man of no Status who ceaselessly goes out and in    through the gates of your face. Those who have not yet recognized him, look out, look out!” A monk came forward and asked: “What is the True Man of no Status?” The master descended from the meditation cushion, grabbed the monk and said: “Speak, speak!” The monk hesitated. The master released him and said: “What a shit-stick this True Man of no Status is!” Then he withdrew to his quarters.

Hell yeah! That shit is on Wikipedia – check it out.

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