On the Hundred Grass Tips

An old friend offered up this little story about the remarkable Zen master, Layman P’ang, his equally awake wife, and their equally wakeful daughter (in Ruth Fuller Sasaki’s translation), each describing the same moment.

Layman P’ang ‘was sitting in his thatched cottage one day. “Difficult, difficult, difficult,” he suddenly exclaimed, “like trying to scatter ten measures of sesame seed all over a tree!”

“Easy, easy, easy,” returned Mrs P’ang, “just like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed.”

“Neither difficult nor easy.” said (their daughter) Ling Zhao.”On the hundred grass-tips, The Ancestors’ meaning.”

So, what’s this got to do with our situation? Yours? Mine? With real difficulties, sometimes terrible harsh difficulties.



Neither difficult nor easy

Each word precious

Each a pointing

I think about those grass tips, each manifesting the Buddha way,


Or, maybe within the magic beyond words

Lovely, foolish words,

So close,

So far…

each a Buddha…

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