A Philosopher Asks Buddha

A philosopher asked Buddha: “Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me truth?”

The Buddha kept silence.

The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying: “With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.”

After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained.

The Buddha replied: “A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.”

Mumon’s comment: Ananda was the disciple of the Buddha. Even so, his opinion did not surpass that of outsiders. I want to ask you monks: How much difference is there between disciples and outsiders?


        To tread the sharp edge of a sword,

        To run on smooth-frozen ice,

        One needs no footsteps to follow.

        Walk over the cliffs with hands free.