Tearoom Scrolls Q&A
Please teach us about “Ban Pou Ki Itsu”
by Chisaka Juugaku, Shogen Junior College Special

A monk asked the zen teacher Jōshū Jūshin, “All principles return to One. Wherever is this One to which they return?”
It is said that all things in existence most surely return to One, but where might that One be? In Christianity, we return to the One of God. In Pure Land Buddhism, we return to the One of Amida Buddha. In normal Buddhism, all principle and spirit returns to the One of the ultimate nature of the universe. In Zen Buddhism, everything returns to the One mind. He was asking where, ultimately, that One was.
“All things” can also written “everything”. All creation in the universe–every single different thing and all things real–all of it alike returns entirely to One. So, where is the place of this “one” that everything returns to? That is what a certain individual monk asked. Anyway, how did Jōshū Jūshin answer?
In response to the previous question, Jōshū answered, “I was in Seishuu and made a set of robes. It was seven pounds.” Seihuu is the hometown where Jōshū was born, and a fusan is a linen robe. In other words, he nonchalantly said, “I returned to my hometown recently and had a linen robe made. It was seven pounds.”
Where ever is the place to which the Law returns. All things are the one mind, the one mind is all things: there is only one vehicle. There is not two nor three. All living things reach nirvana riding along in this single vehicle. In other words, the foundation of everything is this singularity. For tea people, tea is the entire element. For the Way of Tea, although there are individual schools of tea, these are merely small differences. There is only one Way of Tea.
Jōshū didn’t use difficult words, but rather the truth he taught was that the habits of our everyday lifes–all the things in front our eyes, just as they were–were the Principles that would most surely return to One. Truely Jōshū’s pure heart is full of a refreshing feeling. Wouldn’t it be good to pass this on to someone? Won’t someone accept it? All of things in front of us in our daily life, just as they are, that is Buddhist Law, the truth. Especially, Jōshū did not say difficult things, but gave an easy explanation by talking casually of recalling his hometown: the One was both his salary and the Zen way of living. Last, let me introduce some words Jōshū said to guide his students:
Even a child of seven does not ask us of those who surpass us. Even an elder of 100 does not teach us of those who do not compare to us.

千坂秀學(ちさかしゅうがく) 正眼短期学特任教授

一人の僧が趙州従諗(じょうしゅう じゅうしん)禅師に尋ねます。「萬法一に帰す。一何れの処にか帰す」。