Friday, August 19, 2011
"In the present time there is also a type who tends to conceive easy views of the koans of the ancients. All alike they look at them and say, 'An iron bar has no flavor - ah, ha, ha!' They're like blind men asking about the color of milk: when told it's like a conch, they interpret in terms of sound; told it's like snow, they interpret in terms of cold. Now, an 'iron bar' does not mean there is no flavor; it means there's nothing you can get your teeth into - this is what's called an iron bar. Just arouse an intense attitude of great fortitude, where there is nothing to get your teeth into and chew vertically, chew horizontally, chew and chew unceasingly, and suddenly you'll chew through. Once you've chewed through, you will find the inexhaustible flavor of Dharma in there. This is called an iron bar - later people didn't understand and misinterpreted it to mean flavorless" - Torei Enji's The Undying Lamp of Zen.