Flags for Th erefore, this koan endorses a multibranched approach to Zen lineal transmission that tries to fi nd balance and harmony regarding the antinomies of idealism and realism, or innovation and experience. By carry ing his bundle into the sermon hall, Deshan shows that he is full of self- confi dence and thinks of himself as invincible. He is willing to disregard the regulations by intruding upon sacred territory. He passes to and fro as if he enjoyed perfect freedom to do as he pleased. Th en he thinks better of his brash actions and returns to the sermon hall in a courteous and ceremonial manner. Guishan responds 182 by reaching for his fl y whisk, the main symbol of a master’s authority and charisma, which proves an in eff ec tive technique. Deshan abruptly leaves, but this time his unbending approach marks him as the apparent winner in this contest. Flags 2016.

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