Baizhang Huaihai
Caoshan Benji
Dahui Zonggao
Daman Hongren
Danxia Tianran
Dayi Daoxin
Dazhao Puji
Dazhu Huihai
Dazu Huike
Deshan Xuanjian
Dongshan Liangjie
Guifeng Zongmi
Guishan Lingyou
Guizong Zhichang
Heze Shenhui
Hongzhi Zhengjue
Huangbo Xiyun
Huanglong Huinan
Jinshan tanying
Linji Yixuan
Longtan Chongxin
Luohan Guichen
Mazu Daoyi
Nanquan Puyuan
Nanta Guangyong
Nanyang Huizhong
Nanyue Huairang
Niutou Farong
Qingliang Wenyi
Qingyuan Xingsi
Shishuang Chuyuan
Shitou Xiqian
Tianhuang Daowu
Xiangyan Zhixian
Xitang Zhizang
Xuansha Shibei
Xuedou Chongxian
Xuefeng Yicun
Yangqi Fanghui
Yangshan Huiji
Yantou Quanhuo
Yaoshan Weiyan
Yongjia Xuanjue
Yongming Yanshou
Yunmen Wenyan
Yunyan Tansheng
Yuquan Shenxiu
Zhaozhou Congshen
Guizong Zhichang
Second half of the 8th century
First half of the 9th century
POSTH name
Chan Master Zhizheng
Mazu Dongyi
Yuan Dynasty, Yintuoluo, "Priest Zhichang"
GUIZONG ZHICHANG (n.d.) was a disciple of Mazu. He came from ancient Jiangling (located in modern Hubei Province). Almost nothing is recorded of Guizong’s early life, nor are the dates of his birth and death known. After leaving Mazu, he lived near Mt. Lu at Guizong Temple.67 During his lifetime he gained considerable fame as an expounder of Zen. When the famous Tang dynasty poet and statesman Bai Zhuyi served as the magistrate of Jiangzhou, he often visited and paid his respects to Guizong.
Master Zhichang of Guizong Temple of Mt. Lu entered the hall and addressed the monks, saying, “The virtuous of former times were not without knowledge and understanding. Those great adepts were not of the common stream. People these days are unable to be self-empowered, nor can they stand alone. They just idly pass the time. All of you here, don’t make the error of employing your mind. No one can do it for you. Moreover, there is no ‘place’ where the mind can be used. Don’t be seeking it somewhere else. Up to now you have been acting in accordance with someone else’s understanding. Your own speech is completely obstructed. The light does not shine through. There are obstructions blocking your vision.”
A monk asked Zen master Guizong, “What is the essential mystery?”
Guizong said, “No one can understand it.”
The monk said, “How about those who seek it?”
Guizong said, “Those who seek it miss it completely.”
The monk said, “How about those who don’t seek it?”
Guizong said, “Go! There’s no place for you to use your mind.”
The monk said, “Then, is there no expedient gate through which you can help me to enter?”
Guizong said, “Kwan Yin’s sublime wisdom can save the world from suffering.”
The monk said, “What is Kwan Yin’s sublime wisdom?”68
The master struck the top of the incense urn three times with his staff and said, “Did you hear that or not?”
The monk said, “I heard it.”
Guizong said, “Why didn’t I hear it?”
The monk was silent.
The master then took his staff and got down from the seat.
An unusual story about Guizong is entitled “The Causation of Guizong Chopping the Snake.”
One day a scriptural monk came to visit Guizong as he was weeding the garden with a hoe. Suddenly, a snake appeared. Guizong took the hoe and chopped it in two.
The monk said, “Long have I heard that Guizong was a crude-mannered teacher.”
Guizong said, “Are you crude or am I crude?”
The monk then asked, “What is ‘crude’?”
Guizong held the hoe upright in the air.
The monk said, “What is ‘refined’?”
Guizong then assumed a posture to chop the snake.
The monk said, “If you let it, it will go away by itself.”
Guizong said, “If I let it go away, how could you see me chop the snake?”
The monk was speechless.
Yunyan came to visit. Guizong assumed a pose of drawing a bow at him. After a long pause, Yunyan assumed a pose of drawing a sword.
Guizong said, “You’re too late!”
Guizong entered the hall and addressed the monks, saying, “I want to speak about Zen. All of you, gather around.”
The monks gathered closely around Guizong.
Guizong said, “Listen to Bodhisattva Kwan Yin’s practice. Its goodness extends everywhere.”
Someone asked, “What is Kwan Yin’s practice?”
Guizong pointed with his finger and said, “Do you still hear it?”
The monks said, “We hear it.”
Guizong said, “What is this pack of fools looking for?”
He took his staff and chased the monks out of the hall. With a big laugh he went back to the abbot’s quarters.
A monk was leaving the monastery.
Guizong asked him, “Where are you going?”
The monk said, “I’m going everywhere to study the five flavors of Zen.”
Guizong said, “Everywhere else has five Zen flavors. Here I only have one-flavored Zen.”
The monk said, “What is one-flavored Zen?”
Guizong hit him.
The monk said, “I understand! I understand!”
Guizong said, “Speak! Speak!”
The monk hesitated.
Guizong hit him again.
The monk later went to Huangbo and told him about this previous exchange with Guizong.
Huangbo entered the hall and addressed the monks, saying, “Great Teacher Ma brought forth eighty-four people. But if some worthy asks them a question every one of them just wets his pants. Only Guizong is up to snuff!”
Governor Libo of Jiangzhou said to Guizong, “In the scripture it says that a mustard seed fits inside Mt. Sumeru. This I don’t doubt. But it also says that Mt. Sumeru fits inside a mustard seed. I’m afraid this is just foolish talk.”
Guizong said, “I’ve heard that Your Excellency has read thousands of scriptures. Is this so or not?”
The governor said, “Yes, it is true.”
Guizong said, “From top to bottom your head is about the size of a coconut. Where did all those scriptures go?”
The governor could only bow his head in deference.
On another occasion the governor asked Guizong, “What can someone learn from the great scriptural canon?”
Guizong raised his fist into the air and said, “Do you understand?”
Governor Libo said, “I don’t understand.”
Guizong said, “There’s still a big gap in your understanding! You don’t even understand a fist!”
The governor said, “Please, Master, explain it to me.”
Guizong said, “If you meet someone on the path, then give it to him. If you don’t meet anyone, then just disseminate the world’s truth.”
Zen master Guizong suffered from cataracts, and he applied a medicine to his eyes that caused them to turn red. Thereafter people called him “Red-eyed Guizong.” Later he passed away. He received the posthumous name “Zen Master Arrive at Truth.”
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