Supposing These Questions Were Asked

By Ch'eng Hsi (Cheng Yen), trans. by Bhiksu Heng Kuan, edited by Prof. T.H. Lee.

Q: Some say that time flies like an arrow. Others say that it creeps along like a snail. Which is it?

A: What proof is there that time is either slow or fast? Emotions falsely produce discriminations ranging between anxious impatience and scattered laziness, whereby there are false perceptions of fast and slow.

Q: A Ch'an adept suddenly shouts or cries out loudly why is that?

A: Loud shouts and great cries probably occur because compassion has not been put down.

Q: Supposing a person has been engaged in Ch'an meditation without interruption yet he has failed to achieve enlighten­ment. What should he do?

A: You should first behave yourself like an honest person and not be so fond of grandoise preeminence.