08 – Dongshan’s flame

A dharma teaching by Dongshan (807-869):

When Shenshan had picked up a needle to mend clothes, Master Dongshan asked, “What are you doing?”
“Mending,” answered Shenshan.
“In what way do you mend?” asked the Master.
“One stitch is like the next,” said Shenshan.
“We’ve been traveling together for twenty years, and you can still say such a thing! How can there be such craftiness?” said the Master.
“How then does the venerable monk mend?” asked Shenshan.
“Just as though the entire earth were spewing flames” replied the Master.

Powell, William F.: The record of Tung-shan.
Honolulu 1986, p. 35