March 26th, 2013

Ejo On Wisdom

The great master Yunmen, thirty-ninth generation from the Buddha, said to a group in a lecture, “All people have a light, but when they look at it they do not see it, so it is obscure. What is everyone's light?” No one replied, so the master himself said in their behalf, “The communal hall, the Buddha shrine, the kitchen pantry, the mountain gate."                                       

Now when the great master says that everyone has a light, he does not say it is to appear later on, nor that it existed in the past, nor that it becomes apparent to a view from the side: he is stating that everyone has a light. This is exactly what is meant in the overall sense by the light of great wisdom: it should be heard and retained, enjoyed and applied, in the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow.

The light is everyone. Shakymuni and Maitreya are its servants. What is not more in Buddhas and less in ordinary beings is this spiritual light, so it is existent in all; it is the whole earth as a single mass of fire.


(Radiant light ) does not question whether you are ordinary people or Buddhas, it does not discriminate between sentient and inanimate beings: having always been shining everywhere, the light has no beginning, no location. That is why it is “obscure,” it is “what,” it is “traveling at night,” it is “impossible to conceive of even in a billion billion million eons.”

          Zen Master Ejo  (1198 - 1282)