Zen Master Kyong Ho asked Zen Master Hahn Am, "Somebody hears 'Cloud appears over South Mountain, rain over…?

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North Mountain’ and gets enlightenment. What do they attain?”
Zen Master Hahn Am replied, “In front of the meditation rooms there are many roof tiles.”
1) “Cloud appears over South Mountain, rain over North Mountain.” what does this mean?
2) Is Zen Master Hahn Am’s answer correct or not?
If you see something, you become blind. If you hear something, you become deaf. If you open your mouth, you become mute. Without making anything, you already find a good answer.

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The Canadian Atheist

It’s Zen, it doesn’t need to make sense.
It only needs to make you think about not making sense.
“The first thing I must know, is that I know nothing” Perfect Zen axiom.


It’s semantic dancing – there is nothing that makes sense and this illustrates it.

Dogstar, Siriusly speaking

It’s sounds like he’s picking up the BBC World Service weather report on his fillings.


Commenting on Zen stories is always tricky, but here it goes…
To me, this story is about mind. How mind gets in the way of seeing clearly. In the same way clouds make it hard to see the open sky.
The clouds and rain represent the thoughts in your mind. While thoughts are there, you cannot simply be, resting in clear awareness. The roof tiles are another reference to mind.
Note the commentary: seeing, hearing, and speaking all involve mind: therefore, they obscure you from clarity. Make nothing mental, and clarity comes.


Clouds are often metaphors for passing thoughts. Hahn uses the metaphor for not going into to thought while meditating by mentioning the roof tiles.