Katsu! Kongo o  hoken
Katsu!  The jeweled sword of the Vajra King! 

Master Rinzai is known for his great shout of "KATSU!" For those of us in the line of Rinzai, the great shout is a dynamic means for giving life to our vivid energy. That one word, katsu, deeply manifests our most human quality, that place where there's no room for any mental idea to be inserted. It would be meaningless to attempt to summarize the 5,048 sutras of the Buddha and the whole of his life in a single expression. The shout of Rinzai isn't a summation of the teachings; it is the actual essence of the Buddha. The Buddhadharma can't be conveyed by explanation. Only by being in this very moment and experiencing the life energy that fills the entire universe can we express it. Our awareness as it is, just that, is the truth of the Buddhadharma. Rinzai said, "Sometimes a shout is like the jeweled sword of the Vajra King; sometimes a shout is like the golden-haired lion crouching on the ground; sometimes a shout is like a weed-tipped fishing pole; sometimes a shout doesn't function as a shout. How do you understand this?" This shout works to cut away all desires and incidental thoughts completely and totally. It kills Buddhas and kills Ancestors; it kills everything we've ever been thankful to. It takes everything away completely. This is the jeweled sword of the Vajra King. 

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