The 磨鏡台 Mojingtai, Mirror Grinding Terrace is the site where the 7th generation Chan monk 懷讓 Huai Rang, 677-744, once demonstrated Buddhist doctrine to his student 馬祖道一 Mazu Daoyi 709-788 by attempting to grind a brick into a mirror. His tomb is located here. |
The brick grinding story goes:
One day Nanyue approached Mazu and asked him,
'What are you doing meditating all the time?
Mazu replied, " I am trying to become a Buddha."
Nanyue then picked up a slab of brick and started to grind it on a rock.
Mazu asked, "What are you doing grinding that piece of brick?"
Nanyue said, " I am grinding it to make a mirror."
Mazu retorted, "How can you make a mirror by polishing a brick!?"
Nanyue replied, "If I can't make a mirror by grinding a brick on a rock, how can you become a Buddha by sitting in meditation?
Mazu the asked, "Then what is the best way?"
Nanyue answered, "It's like an ox pulling a cart. I the cart gets stuck, do you whip the cart or the ox?"