Blue Cliff Record: Case 1: Bodhidharma’s Vast Emptiness

Case 1: Bodhidharma’s Vast Emptiness

Emperor Wu asked Bodhidharma, “What is the highest meaning of the holy truths?”

Bodhidharma replied, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”

The emperor asked, “Who is facing me?”

Bodhidharma said, “I don’t know.”

The emperor did not understand.

Bodhidharma crossed the Yangtse River and travelled to the kingdom of Wei.

Later, the emperor asked Minister Chih about it. Chih said, “Do you know who that man is?”

The emperor said, “I don’t know.”

Chih said, “He is the Mahasattva Avalokitesvara transmitting the Buddha Mind seal.”

The emperor felt regretful and wanted to send an emissary to bring Bodhidharma back. Chih said, “Do not say you will send an emissary to bring him back. Even if all the people in China went after him, he would not return.”

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