100 Zen Questions: Level Ground

What is level ground?

Yuantong’s Question: Practicing mysticism is still going on a steep and difficult path; what is level ground1?

Wansong’s Answer: East, west, south, north.

Linquan’s Instructional Verse:

East, west, south, north- thorns piercing the heavens.

A stone man without legs needn’t exert effort.

You still must pass through that double barrier

When free in all ways you finally escape from bondage.

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Welcome! ewk comment: I’m still trying to get a handle on this text because it is unique in the tradition as far as I can tell… these three Masters were all living in the same community when it was produced.

What is the “double barrier”?

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What is level ground? Yuantong’s Question: Practicing mysticism is still going on a steep and difficult path; what is level ground1? Wansong’s Answer: East, west, south, north. Linquan’s Instructional Verse: East, west, south, north- thorns piercing the heavens. A stone man without legs needn’t exert effort. You still must pass through that double barrier When…

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