Kyogen said, “Its like a man (a monk) up in a tree, hanging from a branch with his mouth; his hands can’t grasp a bough, his feet won’t reach one. Under the tree there is another man, who asks him the meaning of Daruma’s coming from the west. If he doesn’t answer, he evades his duty. If he answers , he will lose his life. What should he do?
Though your eloquence flows like a river, it is all of no avail. Even if you can explain the whole body of the Buddhist sutras, that is also useless. If you can answer the problem properly, you can kill the living, bring the dead back to life. But if you can’t answer, you must ask Maitreya when he comes.
Kyogen really has bad taste,
And spreads poison limitlessly.
He stops up the monks mouth,
And frantically they squeeze tears out from there dead eyes.
As translated by R.H. Blyth