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May 30, 2013

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14. 'And then, when the savoury earth had disappeared, [87] a fungus cropped up, in the manner of a mushroom. It was of a good colour, smell, and taste. It was the colour of fine ghee or butter, and it was very sweet, like pure wild honey. And those beings set to and ate the fungus. And this lasted for a very long time. And as they continued to feed on the fungus, so their bodies became coarser still, and the difference in their looks increased still more. "And the good-looking ones despised the others. . . And because they became arrogant and conceited about their looks, the sweet fungus disappeared. Next, creepers appeared, shooting up like bamboo. . . , and they too were very sweet, like pure wild honey."

Interesting parallel here with an ancient text of the Israelites eating "manna" (the lone food that sustained them during their long desert sojourn) in the desert. It sprung-up like white dew on the ground and was sweet-tasting. In actuality this manna was insect-dung.

"Rujing was a priest of the Caodong School of Zen. Although he had inherited and renowned master Daokai's brocade robe, he never wore it or any robe with woven patterns. He forbade his students to be intimate with kings and ministers. Rujing denied the view, conventional in his time, that each of the "Five Schools of Zen" had its own teaching. He called the taching he was transmitting "the great way of all buddhas" and even disagreed with those who called it the Zen School. Rujing also denied the widely held definition of Zen teaching as a "separate transmission outside the scriptures." He said the great way is not concerned with inside or outside."

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