Build a seamless tomb

//Build a seamless tomb

Build a seamless tomb

I rest quietly and Apollonaire brings this to mind:

Emperor Shukuso asked Chu, the National Teacher, « After a hundred years (after you have died), what do you want me to do? »
« Build a seamless tomb for this old monk, » replied the National Teacher.
« I ask the National Teacher, please show me the design of the tomb, » said the Emperor.
The National Teacher rested quietly for a while, then asked, « Do you understand? »
« I do not understand, » replied the Emperor.
« I have a dharma successor, Tangen, » said the National Teacher, « please send for him and ask him about it. »
After the National Teacher’s death, the Emperor sent for Tangen and asked him what was his teacher’s idea. Tangen said:
« South of Sho, north of Tan. Within it there is gold that fills the land. Beneath the shadowless tree, a ferry boat. In the crystal palace, there is no intellect. »
Blue Cliff Record, Case 18

By | 2015-10-02T20:16:35+01:00 juillet 12th, 2008|Textes|7 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. Ting 3 août 2008 at 19 h 43 min - Reply

    Thank you, Creep!

  2. creep çinçin.. 2 août 2008 at 19 h 08 min - Reply

    I see your point,
    why say anything, the tomb’s in front of your eyes,
    as Tue çela put above her bed..

    Fools gold for sure, and thieves everywhere..

    Remember Bernie’s words:
    "What are you doin’", clowning of course..

    But still..

    Swallow that..!

  3. Ting 1 août 2008 at 21 h 09 min - Reply

    >“And what about the gold that fills the land?”<

    “My pockets are empty.”

    (Rumors of gold will attract greedy people.
    Why not rush for rocks and mud instead?
    Who will follow a digger of nothing?

    Tears of joy and deep realizations are good
    but empty pockets are better.)

  4. Tu es cela 31 juillet 2008 at 17 h 30 min - Reply

    And what about the gold that fills the land?

  5. Ting 28 juillet 2008 at 10 h 02 min - Reply

    “Wow, tears!”
    (I could say)

    “Wow, sarcasm!”
    (Someone might counter)

  6. bling bling 27 juillet 2008 at 19 h 28 min - Reply

    I just presented this koan two weeks ago. Though I had seen the point of the koan and passed the checking points, it was not until my teacher’s commentary that I saw it really clearly. That’s when the tears came. What a beautiful koan.

  7. Ting 23 juillet 2008 at 0 h 37 min - Reply

    “My secret is silence”; someone said.
    He said too much allready.

    Tangen builts a chrystal palace of words.
    He is so utterly too too.


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