An awakened monk called Tien Jan went to visit the Venerable Master Hui Chang.
Upon arrival, he very solemnly asked a certain ascetic assistant if the “True Master” was in the house.
The mystic replied, “Yes, but he is not receiving visitors.”
Tien Jan said, “Oh, what you are saying is extremely profound and strange!”
The anchorite assistant answered, “Not even the eyes of the Buddha can see him.”
Then Tien Jan argued, “The female dragon bears a baby dragon and the female phoenix bears a little phoenix!” And then he left.
Later, when Hui Chang emerged from his meditation and discovered what had occurred in his house, he hit the religious assistant.
When Tien Jan found out what had happened, he made the following comment: “This old man deserves to be called the ‘True Master.’”
The next day Tien Jan, the man of awakened consciousness, returned to visit the Guru, Hui Chang.
In accordance with exotic, oriental custom, as soon as he saw the Guru he spread his shawl on the ground (preparing to sit down and receive his teachings). Hui Chang said, “That is not necessary, not necessary.”
Tien Jan drew back a little and the True Master said emphatically, “It is all right; it is all right.”
But suddenly Tien Jan took some steps forward again. Then the True Master said, “No, no.”
Yet, Tien Jan comprehended everything; he walked around the Hierophant in a symbolic gesture and left.
Later, the Venerable Master commented, “Much time has passed since the days of the Blessed Ones. People are very lazy now. Within thirty years it will be very difficult to find a man like him.”
Strange attitudes, instant telepathic talk, flashes of intuition...
To explain all this would be to mutilate the teaching; our much beloved readers must grasp its deep significance...
Hui Chang possessed the Golden Embryo; it is evident that he had realized the Illuminating Void within himself.
Tien Jan was also a man with awakened consciousness, someone who, although he had not yet realized the Void himself, possessed the Aureous Flower.
Huang Po once met an awakened monk and walked with him. When they came near a tempestuous river which rushed furiously through its rocky bed, Huang Po took off his bamboo hat for a moment, and setting his walking stick aside, stopped to think about how they might cross.
While reflecting upon this, suddenly something unusual happened: the other monk walked over the stormy waters of the river without letting his feet touch the water, and he soon reached the other side.
Ancient traditions which fade into the darkness of time report that when Huang Po saw the miracle, he bit his lips and said, “Oh, I did not know he could do that; had I known, I would have pushed him to the bottom of the river.”
These miraculous powers are simply the natural products of true illumination and are possessed by awakened men, who have created the “Golden Embryo” in the “burning forge of Vulcan” (sex).
Chan Chen-Chi tells the following story:
“The Zen Master Pu Hua had been Lin Chi’s assistant. One day, he decided that the time to die had arrived. He made his way to the market and asked people to give him a suit out of charity. However, when some people offered him that and other clothing, he refused them and then walked away, stick in hand.
“When Lin Chi heard this, he persuaded some people to give Pu Hua a coffin. So they offered Pu Hua a coffin. He smiled and said to the donors, ‘This fellow, Lin Chi is really bad and a charlatan.’
“After accepting the coffin he announced to the people, ‘Tomorrow I shall leave the city by the east gate and die in some corner of the eastern suburbs.’
“The following day many city people lifted the coffin and escorted Pu Hua as far as the east gate. However he suddenly stopped and exclaimed, ‘Oh, no, no, according to Geomancy, this day is not auspicious. It is better that I die tomorrow in a southern suburb.’
“So the next day everybody set out for the south gate, but Pu Hua changed his mind again and told the people that he preferred to die the following day in a western suburb.
“Many fewer people went to escort him the following day, and again Pu Hua changed his mind saying that he was postponing his departure from this world one more day, and so he would die in a northern suburb. By then people were fed up with the affair, and so nobody escorted him the next day.
“Tu Hua had to carry the coffin as far as the northern suburb himself. When he arrived he got into the coffin, stick in hand, as always, and waited for some passersby. Then he begged them to nail down the coffin once he was dead. When they consented he lay down and died.
“Then,” Chan Chen Chi continues telling us, “the passersby nailed down the coffin as they had promised.
“News of the event soon reached the city and crowds of people began to arrive. Someone then suggested that the coffin be opened to take a look at the corpse, but having done so, to their surprise, they found nothing inside.
“Before they could recover from the surprise, they heard from the sky the familiar sound of the bells on the walking stick that Pu Hua had carried all his life.
“At first the tinkling was loud as if he was very near; then it became fainter and fainter until it finally disappeared completely. No one could imagine where Pu Hua had gone.”