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ZEN

THE ORIGINAL MAN

Chapter 9: Yaa-hoo! -- a living sound

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             The Original Man

 

OUR BELOVED MASTER,
RINZAI SAID TO A MONK, "SOMETIMES, A SHOUT IS LIKE A HARD AND DURABLE JEWELED SWORD. SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS LIKE A LION, CROUCHING ON THE GROUND -- STRONG AND POWERFUL. SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS LIKE A WEED-TIPPED FISHING POLE, ATTRACTING AND PROBING THE UNWARY. AND SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS NOT USED AS A SHOUT. HOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND ALL THIS?"
AS THE MONK WAS THINKING ABOUT IT, RINZAI GAVE A SHOUT. HE THEN TURNED TO THE ASSEMBLY AND SAID, "YOU MONKS SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT ALL THIS. WHEN HOST AND GUEST MEET EACH OTHER, THERE IS ALWAYS AN EXCHANGE OF WORDS OR DISCUSSION, IN WHICH ARE EXHIBITED EITHER THE FORM APPROPRIATE FOR THE MOMENT, THE FUNCTION IN FULL, EXPEDIENT DEVICES WITH EITHER JOY OR ANGER AND INCOMPLETE MANIFESTATION, OR THE RIDER ON A LION OR THE LORD OF ELEPHANTS.
"FOR INSTANCE, A TRUE DISCIPLE WOULD, UPON ARRIVAL, GIVE A SHOUT, THUS PRESENTING A TRAY OF GLUE. AN INCOMPETENT MASTER WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT THIS IS JUST AN OBJECT, WOULD STEP INTO THE GLUE, PUTTING ON HIGH AIRS WITH HIS LEARNING. THE DISCIPLE WOULD SHOUT AGAIN, BUT THE INCOMPETENT MASTER WOULD REFUSE TO RETREAT FROM HIS WRONG POSITION. THIS IS A MORTAL DISEASE, WHICH IS INCURABLE AND IS CALLED `A GUEST LOOKING AT HIS HOST.'
"IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A COMPETENT MASTER WOULD NOT USE ANY OBJECT, BUT WOULD MERELY FOLLOW THE DISCIPLE'S QUESTION, TO STRIP HIM OF HIS GRASPINGS, WHILE THE LATTER WOULD REFUSE WITH ALL HIS STRENGTH. THIS IS `A HOST LOOKING AT HIS GUEST.'
"IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A DISCIPLE JUST COMING OUT OF A STILL STATE OF MEDITATION WOULD PRESENT HIMSELF TO A MASTER WHO KNOWS THAT SUCH A STATE IS MERELY THE OBJECT, AND SNATCHES IT AWAY FROM THE FORMER, THROWING IT INTO AN ABYSS. THE DISCIPLE WOULD PRAISE THE ENLIGHTENED MASTER, WHO WOULD REPLY, `YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD.' THEREUPON, THE DISCIPLE WOULD BOW HIS THANKS. THIS IS `A HOST LOOKING AT A HOST.'
"IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A DISCIPLE, ALREADY WEARING HANDCUFFS, WOULD PRESENT HIMSELF BEFORE A MASTER, WHO WOULD PUT ADDITIONAL HANDCUFFS ON HIM. THE DISCIPLE, HOWEVER, WOULD BE JOYFUL, AND BOTH WOULD NOT SEE ANYTHING WRONG IN ALL THIS. THIS IS `A GUEST LOOKING AT A GUEST.'
"VIRTUOUS ONES, WHAT THIS MOUNTAIN MONK HAS JUST SAID, IS HOW TO DISTINGUISH A DEMON FROM AN UNUSUAL MAN, IN ORDER TO KNOW WHICH IS HETERODOX AND WHICH IS ORTHODOX."

Maneesha, Rinzai is trying to explain one of the mysteries of Zen which has remained very strange to outsiders. It is the sound of Kwatz! It does not mean anything. We can substitute it with Yaa-Hoo! That means much more. Kwatz! is a single sound; Yaa-Hoo! is a double sound. In fact, Yaa-Hoo! should be used in future Zen instead of Kwatz! Whichever the sound, Rinzai has explained that although it is not meaningful, it is very significant.
Before we enter into his statements, a few preliminary things have to be understood, otherwise you will lose the whole track.
First is the sound. It is not a word, it does not have a meaning in any dictionary or in any language. When a sound comes from your very deepest core, it is something of a miracle. You see it happening every day here. When you say Yaa-Hoo! with your total energy, the sound comes from your very center, stirring your whole body, the periphery, the mind, every nerve.
You can say it in a lukewarm way -- then you will miss it. It has to be said exactly like the lion's roar, which comes from the belly. It is not just from your tongue -- not even from your throat or your heart. It exactly hits just below the navel -- two inches below to be exact.
You should watch. Whenever you do it, you should keep an eye on where it is coming from -- that is the way for you to go in. It is clearing the way, it is making a passage in a forgotten land, giving you a direct line. It connects you with yourself.
Don't be bothered about idiots. They don't know anything and still all over the country they have either laughed at the Yaa-Hoo! in newspapers and magazines, or they have made skeptical remarks, not even knowing what the significance of it is. This only shows their blindness, unintelligence and stubborn stupidity.
Before saying a word about something unknown, you should think twice. You may not find the meaning in the dictionary because it is not a word. You will have to find the significance in experience. You have to do it -- only then you can have it. But then you will still not be able to explain it to another. The mystery is very profound.
In Zen, Kwatz! has been used for almost fourteen hundred years -- in different situations for different purposes. Rinzai is trying to explain it to his disciples.
RINZAI SAID TO A MONK, "SOMETIMES, A SHOUT IS LIKE A HARD AND DURABLE JEWELED SWORD."
If it penetrates you and reaches deep down into your very source, it has done a tremendous work, it has created a way.
"SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS LIKE A LION, CROUCHING ON THE GROUND" -- sometimes it is simply an expression that you have come home -- "STRONG AND POWERFUL. SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS LIKE A WEED-TIPPED FISHING POLE, ATTRACTING AND PROBING THE UNWARY."
It does both jobs. It attracts those who are seekers of the path, and keeps away those who are just poor curiositymongers. They won't enter in a place where people are shouting, "Yaa-Hoo!"
To their intelligence -- whatever they have of it, it will seem a maddening phenomenon. All that is beyond their reason they call mad. Only what is reasonable is acceptable. In this way the reasonable man confines his reality to the very small circle of his mind. Only the irrational person -- capable of going beyond reason -- opens the doors of the beyond.
Rinzai is trying to explain that the shout can be used in many ways.
AND SOMETIMES A SHOUT IS NOT USED AS A SHOUT -- but as a salute. HOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND ALL THIS? AS THE MONK WAS THINKING ABOUT IT, RINZAI GAVE A SHOUT -- the shout is Kwatz! HE THEN TURNED TO THE ASSEMBLY AND SAID, "YOU MONKS SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT ALL THIS. WHEN HOST AND GUEST MEET EACH OTHER, THERE IS ALWAYS AN EXCHANGE OF WORDS OR DISCUSSION, IN WHICH ARE EXHIBITED EITHER THE FORM APPROPRIATE FOR THE MOMENT, THE FUNCTION IN FULL, EXPEDIENT DEVICES WITH EITHER JOY OR ANGER AND INCOMPLETE MANIFESTATION, OR THE RIDER ON A LION OR THE LORD OF ELEPHANTS.
A small sound can do many things because it has no meaning. You can use it in different devices. Two friends meet -- not just familiar ones, acquaintances, but friends, connected deep down in their roots. They both will give the shout to show the whole universe, "We are one." When a man for the first time becomes enlightened he gives a shout, not to anybody in particular but to the whole existence, "Let it be noted that I am no longer an ignorant and unaware man." His shout is existential language.

In Zen they have symbols which are very significant. When you are out of yourself roaming around the world, you may be immobile in the body, but your mind is roaming around. This roaming mind is a guest, and the unchanging consciousness within you is the host. So there are many possibilities....
Two guests may meet who both are out of themselves. Their shout will be very shallow, just an etiquette. They themselves are not thick enough, just a thin facade. But it can happen that a guest can meet a host. One who has arrived is a master; when you come to him you are coming to a host. Your shout will be a declaration: "I am ready." The master's shout will be a declaration: "You are accepted."
Sometimes it happens that two hosts meet -- both masters. They will give a shout which will penetrate to the very foundation of existence.
This sound of Kwatz! has never been understood by the intellectuals, and will never be understood by them. They understand only superficial words. Words cannot go as deep as sounds.
Rinzai is describing situations:
FOR INSTANCE, A TRUE DISCIPLE WOULD, UPON ARRIVAL, GIVE A SHOUT...
Only a true disciple will have the courage to give a shout to the master, because it is a challenge -- a challenge to transform him, a challenge to accept him for the journey, a challenge to take him in his caravan. The false disciple, who is only a student gathering fragments of knowledge here and there, will not have the nerve to give the shout. If he gives the shout he will receive the master's staff on his head to put him right.
The shout needs your earnest inquiry, not just curiosity. And the difference is clear, it is a nuance. The sound is the same but the earnest seeker will have a power in his sound. If the seeker is earnest and gives a sound and the master is not a true master but only a teacher, then the disciple is PRESENTING A TRAY OF GLUE.
AN INCOMPETENT MASTER, WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT THIS IS JUST AN OBJECT, WOULD STEP INTO THE GLUE, PUTTING ON HIGH AIRS WITH HIS LEARNING.
It is a touchstone also. When a true disciple meets a true master there is no way of saying how the master will respond. But one thing is certain: if the master is not true himself, he will fall into the trap of the true disciple whose shout is a tray of glue. He will start thinking that he is a great master. He will put on high airs, and start talking like a parrot -- he will show his learning. But the true seeker is not in search of learning or knowledge, nor is the true master interested in teaching.
The true master is interested in transforming your being, in bringing you home, in making you a host rather than a guest. You have been a guest in many forms, in many lives. The true master's function is to show you the way home where you are not a guest but a host. Enough of caravanserais, enough of five-star hotels, enough of the friendly, familiar, businesslike, worldly reception as a guest. Unless you find the host you are going to remain superficial, just a personality.
THE TRUE DISCIPLE WOULD SHOUT AGAIN...
He would give another chance to the master, because it is thought to be a responsibility of the master not to be dishonest.
BUT THE INCOMPETENT MASTER WOULD REFUSE TO RETREAT AGAIN FROM HIS WRONG POSITION. THIS IS A MORTAL DISEASE...
Rinzai calls it a mortal disease; every mortal is prone to it: the ego.
The ego does not cherish the idea of revealing the truth, because revealing the truth is the death of the ego. It goes on saying that which is untrue, but it cannot hide from authentic seeking eyes. They will uncover that the master is just a parrot -- he repeats correctly but he knows nothing.
THIS IS A MORTAL DISEASE, WHICH IS UNCURABLE AND IS CALLED "A GUEST LOOKING AT HIS HOST."
The master himself is a guest but pretending to be a host.
IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A COMPETENT MASTER WOULD NOT USE ANY OBJECT, BUT WOULD MERELY FOLLOW THE DISCIPLE'S QUESTION, TO STRIP HIM OF HIS GRASPINGS, WHICH THE LATTER WOULD REFUSE WITH ALL HIS STRENGTH. THIS IS "A HOST LOOKING AT HIS GUEST."
If you are facing and encountering an authentic master he will start destroying your personality immediately. And if you are a true disciple, you will stand naked, not hiding anything. This he calls "a host looking at his guest." To somebody who needs protection, shelter, guidance, the true master becomes everything: a guide, a friend, a shelter, a way, a companion unto the ultimate.
IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A DISCIPLE JUST COMING OUT OF A STILL STATE OF MEDITATION WOULD PRESENT HIMSELF TO A MASTER, WHO KNOWS THAT SUCH A STATE IS MERELY THE OBJECT, AND SNATCHES IT AWAY FROM THE FORMER, THROWING IT INTO AN ABYSS. THE DISCIPLE WOULD PRAISE THE ENLIGHTENED MASTER, WHO WOULD REPLY, "YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD." THEREUPON, THE DISCIPLE WOULD BOW HIS THANKS. THIS IS "A HOST LOOKING AT A HOST."
Both understand the meaning. The shout has joined them both. The disciple is coming out of the meditation. He knows the path where he is coming from, and he knows that the same is the path of the shout. He has no fear. If the master takes away anything that is a hindrance, he will not cling to it. On the contrary, he will relinquish it with joy and thank the master, bow down before him.
This is called a host looking at a host. Both have arrived; one is a senior host, the other is a junior host. One has just arrived, but both have arrived.
IT MIGHT HAPPEN THAT A DISCIPLE, ALREADY WEARING HANDCUFFS, WOULD PRESENT HIMSELF BEFORE A MASTER, WHO WOULD PUT ADDITIONAL HANDCUFFS ON HIM. THE DISCIPLE, HOWEVER, WOULD BE JOYFUL, AND BOTH WOULD NOT SEE ANYTHING WRONG IN ALL THIS. THIS IS "A GUEST LOOKING AT A GUEST."
Neither the master is true nor the disciple is true. The dishonest master can only live by putting more ornaments on his disciples. They look like ornaments, but in fact they are chains to bind them. This is the ugliest situation: you have been in search of freedom, and you fall prey to a man who puts you deeper into slavery.

Ryota wrote:
THEY SPOKE NO WORDS.
THE VISITOR, THE HOST,
AND THE WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM.

"They spoke no words..." There is a possibility that if the two persons meeting are both great masters -- not fresh young flowers, but seasoned -- then there is no speaking, no words. The visitor is there, the host is there, but there is no one who is a guest. The host is visiting another host.

Issa wrote:
UNDER CHERRY TREES
THERE ARE
NO STRANGERS.

These are ultimate expressions. When two masters meet under the cherry tree, they may not know anything about each other, but just the sound of Kwatz! and they are no strangers. They know that they both are connected to the same source.
I have not used the sound Kwatz! It is old, traditional; it has become a convention. This is the unfortunate history of everything -- soon it becomes a dead ritual. That's why I have used Yaa-Hoo! At least for my present people around the world, it will be a living sound. And when you shout Yaa-Hoo! you have to watch from what source it is coming. You have to go inwards to that source.
So every night before the meeting, I help to show you the way without saying anything. Then in the meditation you are amazed that this is the same path. And as I leave, I remind you again of your origin.
A sound that can thrill each fiber and cell of your being can give you a dancing quality; it can give you a music unheard, a life that was asleep. An authentic sound penetrates so deep that you cannot remain asleep.

 

 

Next: Chapter 9: Yaa-hoo! -- a living sound, Question 1

 


Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             The Original Man

 

 

Chapters:

 

 

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

MEDITATION HEAD

 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

THE KARMA CLEARING PROCESS APPRENTICE LEVEL3

MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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TESTIMONIALS
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