What’s the fuss?


A haiku by Dahui Donggao.

Monk on road

Dahui wrote a great final verse for his disciples shortly before his death, quipping: “Without a verse, I couldn’t die.”

Birth is thus
death is thus.
Verse or no verse,
what’s the fuss?

Dahui ZonggaoDahui Zonggao, 大慧宗杲, (1089–1163) was a 12th-century Chinese Chan (Zen) master. At the age of 49, he was appointed Abbot of Jingshan monastery in the new capital Lin-an (modern Hangzhou, Zhejiang). Within a few years his sangha grew to two thousand and among his lay followers were many high-ranking officials. He became the acknowledged leader of Buddhism of the Southern Song dynasty. Emperor Xiaozong bestowed upon him the posthumous title ‘Chan Master of Great Wisdom’, from which the name Dahui derives.

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