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Awakened Men

“An [awakened] monk called Tien Jan went to visit the Royal Master, Hui Chung. [Upon arriving there] he asked the attendant monk whether the Royal Master was at home. The monk replied, “Yes, but he won’t receive any guests.” Tien Jan said, “Oh, that is too profound and remote!” The attendant monk answered, “Even the Buddha’s eyes cannot see him.” Said Tien Jan, “The dragon gives birth to a baby dragon and the phoenix gives birth to a baby phoenix!” He then left. Later, when Hui Chung got up from his sleep and learned what had happened, he beat the attendant monk. When Tien Jan heard about this he commented, “This old man deserves to be called ‘the Royal Master’!” The next day [the man of awakened consciousness] Tien Jan went to visit [the guru] Hui Chung again. As soon as he saw the Royal Master, [in accordance with exotic, asian custom] he spread his “sitting shawl” on the ground [as if he were going to sit down]. Hui Chung remarked, ‘This is not necessary, this is not necessary.” Tien Jan then retreated a few steps, upon which the Royal Master said, “All right, all right.” But suddenly Tien Jan moved a few paces forward again. The Royal Master then said, “No, no.” Whereupon Tien Jan circled the Master and left. Afterward, the Master commented: “It is a long time since the days of the Holy Ones. People are now very lazy. Thirty years hence it will be hard to find a man like him.” Garma C. C. Chang, Practice of Zen

Strange attitudes, instant telepathic talk, flashes of intuition... To explain all this would be to mutilate the teaching; our much beloved readers must grasp its deep significance...

Hui Chung possessed the Golden Embryo; it is evident that he had realized the Illuminating Void within himself.

Tien Jan was also a man with awakened consciousness, someone who, although he had not yet realized the Void himself, possessed the Aureous Flower.

“Huang Po once met a monk and took a walk with him. When they came to a river, Huang Po removed his bamboo hat and, putting aside his staff, stood there trying to figure out how they could get across. But the other monk walked over the river without letting his feet touch the water, and reached the other shore at once. [Ancient traditions which fade into the darkness of time report that] When Huang Po saw this miracle he bit his lip and said. ‘Oh, I didn’t know he could do this; otherwise I should have pushed him right down to the bottom of the river!’

“These miraculous powers are simply the natural by-products of true Enlightenment...” Garma C. C. Chang, Practice of Zen

...and are possessed by awakened people, those who have created the Golden Embryo in the “burning forge of Vulcan (sex).

Chang Chen-chi tells the following story:

“Zen Master Pu Hua had been an assistant to Lin Chi. One day he decided it was time for him to pass away, so he went to the market place and asked the people in the street to give him a robe as charity. But when some people offered him the robe and other clothing, he refused them. Others offered him a quilt and blanket, but he refused these also, and went off with his staff in his hand. When Lin Chi heard about this, he persuaded some people to give Pu Hua a coffin instead. So a coffin was presented to him. He smiled at this, and remarked to the donors: “This fellow, Lin Chi, is indeed naughty and long-tongued.” He then accepted the coffin, and announced to the people, “Tomorrow I shall go out of the city from the east gate and die somewhere in the east suburb.” The next day many townspeople, carrying the coffin, escorted him out of the east gate. But suddenly he stopped and cried: “Oh, no, no! According to geomancy, this is not an auspicious day! I had better die tomorrow in the south suburb.” So the following day they all went out of the south gate. But then Pu Hua changed his mind again, and said to the people that he would rather die the next day in the west suburb. Far fewer people came to escort him the following day; and again Pu Hua changed his mind, saying he would rather postpone his departure from this world for one more day, and die in the north suburb then. By this time people had grown tired of the whole business, so nobody escorted him when the next day came. Pu Hua even had to carry the coffin by himself to the north suburb. When he arrived there, he sat down inside the coffin, holding his staff, and waited until he saw some pedestrians approaching. He then asked them if they would be so good as to nail the coffin up for him after he had died. When they agreed, he lay down in it and passed away. The pedestrians then nailed the coffin up as they had promised to do.

“Word of this event soon reached town, and people began to arrive in swarms. Someone then suggested that they open the coffin and take a look at the corpse inside. When they did, however, they found, to their surprise, nothing in it! Before they had recovered from this shock, suddenly, from the sky above, they heard the familiar sound of the small bells jingling on the staff which Pu Hua had carried with him all his life. At first the jingling sound was very loud, as if it came from close at hand; then it became fainter and fainter, until finally it faded entirely away. Nobody knew where Pu Hua had gone.” Garma C. C. Chang, Practice of Zen