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Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien

Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien (Jap., Kyōgen Chikan; d. c.900). Chinese Chʾan master; pupil and dharma-successor (hassu) of Kuei-shan Ling-yu. He is best known for the story of his breakthrough to enlightenment. After much text-based study and no progress, he went to Kuei-shan who asked him about his original face (honrai-no-memmoku). According to Hsiang-yen, the human predicament is summarized in the story of a man hanging by his teeth from the highest branch of a tall tree, who is asked why Bodhidharma came from the West.

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