The Enlightened Man

Shogen asked: `Why does the enlightened man not stand on his feet and explain himself?' And he also said: `It is not necessary for speech to come from the tongue.'

Mumon's Comment: Shogen spoke plainly enough, but how many will understand? If anyone comprehends, he should come to my place and test out my big stick. Why, look here, to test real gold you must see it through fire.

If the feet of enlightenment moved, the great ocean would overflow;
If that head bowed, it would look down upon the heavens.
Such a body has no place to rest....
Let another continue this poem.

A Zen koan from the classic collection The Gateless Gate. Original transcription by Ben Walter and Adam Fuller of iBiblio.

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