The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Seven: The Principle of the Nature


When the Founding Master was staying at Pongnae Hermitage, the Sŏn master Paek Hangmyŏng would come to visit, and sometimes enjoyed conversing in an extraordinary religious argot on the subject of the principle of the nature. One day, the Founding Master told a few things to the young female novice Yi Ch’ŏngp’ung. The following day the Sŏn master arrived from Wolmyŏng Hermitage. The Founding Master greeted him and said, “It seems that the Way is ripening for Ch’ŏngp’ung, who is over there hulling rice in a mortar.” The Sŏn master went right up to Ch’ŏngp’ung and said in a loud voice, “Without moving your feet, show me the Way!” Ch’ŏngp’ung stood perfectly still, raising the pestle up into the air. The Sŏn master went inside without saying a word, and Ch’ŏngp’ung followed him in. The Sŏn Master asked, “Can you make that Bodhidharma hanging on the wall walk?” Ch’ŏngp’ung answered, “Yes, I can.” The Sŏn master responded, “Then make him walk.” Ch’ŏngp’ung stood up and walked several steps. The Sŏn master slapped his knee in amazement and sanctioned her enlightenment, saying that she had awakened at the age of thirteen! Seeing this sight, the Founding Master smiled and said, “Seeing the nature neither does nor does not involve words. However, from now on, one will not be able to give the seal of approval to ‘seeing the nature’ by such a method.”