Posted inArt and Poems, Heart Sutra, Other Teachings

Ten thousand miles – No clouds, Ten thousand miles – Sky

February 5, 2016


“萬⾥ 無雲 万里天 Banri Kumo Nashi, Banri no Ten”.

This is the second line of a couplet which follows the first one…

“千江有水千江月 Senko Ni Mizu Ari Senko No Tsuki”.

Together they read:

A thousand rivers
of water,
A thousand rivers
of moons

Ten thousand miles
No clouds,
Ten thousand miles

[From the: Compendium of Five Lamps]


It reminds me of the Heart Sutra:

Form does not differ from Emptiness
And Emptiness does not differ from Form.

Form is Emptiness
and Emptiness is Form.


And Yamada Ryoun commentary on: Case 46 – Shoyoroku

The pure ground without an inch of grass for ten thousand miles,”“the clear sky without a speck of cloud in eight directions,
the world without a speck of cloud to mar the gazing eye,
the world of Emptiness
all of these are words to describe our essential nature that most of the people in this world are not aware of. (…)

Master Banshō is repeatedly warning us that to think that the world of Emptiness exists separately from the world of phenomena is a big mistake.
To think that the “world of nothing at all” is the real world is the same sort of mistake that 7- 8 billion people make in thinking that the world of phenomena is the only real world.

There is a famous exchange concerning this between Master Hōjushō [Yu Shouzha], a disciple of Master Rinzai [Linji], and a monk.

The monk asked,  What about when there are no clouds for ten thousand miles?

Master Hōjushō answered, The blue sky also must be hit with a stick.

What a great answer this is. Please savor it for yourself.

Compilation by Rosa Bellino

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