1. Mountains are mountains

    Before attaining enlightenment,
    mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers.

    At the moment of enlightenment,
    mountains are no longer mountains,
    nor are rivers rivers.

    After attaining enlightenment,
    mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers.

    1. ​Don't Rush to Simplicity​
  2. No door at which to knock

    Penetrating the Blue Cliff, you will open
    the eye within eyes
    and realizing life through the Blue Cliff,
    you yourself will become a torch,
    the light beyond light.

    Being so, you will find no door at which to knock, nor any door to be opened.

  3. The miraculous bones of the ancients

    A Ch'an master once wrote that the wise enshrine the miraculous bones of the ancients within themselves; that is, they do not regard teachings of ways to enlightenment as an external body of knowledge or information to be possessed as an acquisition or believed or revered as inflexible dogma, but rather apply it as far as possible to themselves and their situations, vivifying the way of enlightenment with their own bodies and lives, not just in their thoughts. It is therefore a matter of course that new Buddhist literature has been produced; for the Buddhist canon is not closed, as long as people continue the search for enlightenment.

    Ch'an was referred to by its followers as the "school of the patriarchs" because it was transmitted by a living succession of human exemplars; not a school of doctrine, or philosophical or scholastic interpretation, it was not based on any particular scripture, but on the direct experience of the enlightened mind, by whatever means currently necessary.

  4. What did you see when you were there?

    Ch'an masters tell us to look right where we stand and step: they ask what is there, is there anything, who are you and where do you come from, what did you see and hear when you were there?—in a hundred ways they try to make us wake up, clear our minds, and face reality directly.

  5. I have pacified your mind

    Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of Ch'an in China, was asked by Hui K'e, the future Second Patriarch, so pacify his mind for him; Bodhidharma said, "Bring me your mind and I will pacify it for you." Hui K'e said, "When I search for my mind, I cannot find it." Bodhidharma said, "I have pacified your mind for you." At this Hui K'e was enlightened.

    1. ​In a state of reverberation​
  6. In one there are many; in two, one

    The ultimate path is without difficulty;
    Speech is to the point, words are to the point.
    In one there are many kinds;
    In two there is no duality.

  7. It's dark outside

    As soon as Te Shan crossed the threshold he said, "Long have I heard of Lung T'an (Dragon Pond), but now that I've arrived here, there's no pond to see and no dragon appears." Master Lung T'an came out from behind a screen and said, "You have really arrived at Lung T'an." Te Shan bowed and withdrew.

    During the night, Te Shan entered Lung T'an's room and stood in attendance till late at night. Lung T'an said, "Why don't you go?" Te Shan bade farewell, lifted up the curtain, and went out; he saw that it was dark outside, so he turned around and said, "It's dark outside." Lung T'an lit a paper lantern and handed it to Te Shan; as soon as Te Shan took it, Lung T'an blew it out. Te Shan was vastly and greatly enlightened.

    1. ​In a state of reverberation​