In what is likely the highest stakes poetry slam in history, fifth ancestor Hongren announced a lightning round smackdown, the winner of which would inherit his temple and carry the name of sixth ancestor. He alone would judge the submissions.
Last time we heard from Shenxiu. This time, Huineng steps up to the mic and expounds:
Bodhi is fundamentally without any tree;
The bright mirror is also not a stand.
Fundamentally there is not a single thing—
Where could any dust be attracted?
In classic Zen braggadocio, Huineng not only expresses a deeper truth, but turns his rival's submission inside out. The chorus of snapping fingers sounded like a cloudburst.
The master was pleased.