Bankei to his disciples: The people studying Zen nowadays spend all their time on old Zen words and stories, quoting this fellow and citing that one as they deliberate fruitlessly over their koans. Trailing doggedly after other people's words. Feeding on their dregs. Caught in another man's tub, unable to break out into real freedom. They're down in the dark caves, living with the disembodied spirits. You won't find any of those musers or cogitators around here. Here i make people stand absolutely alone and independent right from the start, with their eyes fully open, so they can reach out through all the universe. Each one of the words and sayings uttered by the worthy teachers of the past was given in response to a particular occasion, according to changing conditions - they were trying to stop a child's crying by showing him an empty hand. How could anyone who belongs to the family of Zen have even a single Dharma to preach! If you chase after phrases and get muddled up in words, you're no better off than a man who loses his sword over the side of a ship and then marks the spot where it fell in on the railing.