“It’s without form,” Jiashan said.
“It’s without flaw.”
Daowu Yuanjie was in the lecture hall when this exchange took place, and he laughed out loud.
Jiashan demanded, “Why are you laughing?”
“You might understand the sutras, but you still need a master to guide you to the discovery of your Buddha-nature.”
“Where would I find such a man?”
“Go see the Boatman Monk. He hasn’t a tile to cover his head nor a speck of earth to stand upon.”
Jiashan gave up lecturing and sought out Chunzi Decheng. It was a long journey, and Jiashan’s travelling clothes were dusty and soiled by the time he finally came to the ferryman. When Chunzi saw Jiashan approaching, he shouted, “Monk, at what monastery do you reside?”
“I’m not a resident of any monastery otherwise I wouldn’t look like this.”
“So what do you look like?” the Boatman Monk asked.
“I’m beyond sight and sound and consciousness.”
“Is that so?” Chunzi said, then he took hold of Jiashan and pushed him into the river, holding his head under water for a long while before letting him up. “Speak now!” Chunzi demanded, but as soon as Jiashan opened his mouth, the ferryman plunged him into the water yet again. “Speak!” Chunzi shouted. Jiashan tried again and was submerged a third time. On this occasion, he came to awakening, and when Chunzi let him up, he bowed in gratitude.