Case 47 of The Blue Cliff Record

Case 47 of The Blue Cliff Record is usually rendered as follows:

A monk asked Master Yunmen: What is the Buddha’s Dharma Body? Yunmen replied ” The six (senses) cannot grasp it”

However, it can also be rendered as an exchange between the two, the monk making a statement “The Buddha’s Dharma Body Is What (Suchness)” and Master Yunmen, by implication, affirming the statement.

The temptation is for us to think that the Dharmakaya is ‘real’ and that the world of sensory grasping, the one we immediately recognise, is illusory. And, because we find contradiction and paradox difficult to bear, we imagine that to get the one, we must exclude the other. And because we never can, we suffer.

That is why the most common Buddhist metaphor is space, because it accommodates everything.

If someone asked you “Does the birdsong fill the space, or not?”, you wouldn’t answer yes or no, you would tell them to re-frame their question.

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