Fan Hsien-chien used to sit constantly, never lying down. When she heard that Yuan-we was at Chao-cheuh temple in Ch'eng-tu [the province where she lived], she went to pay her respects to him and asked for guidance in the Way. Yuan-wu told her to contemplate the saying, "It's not mind, it's not Buddha, it's not a thing."
She contemplated it for a long time without sucess. Finally, in frustration, she asked Yuan-wu, "What expedient method do you have to make it easier for me to understand?"
Yuan-wu said, "There is a method," and he had her contemplate simply, "What is it?"
Later she had an awakening and said, "After all, it was always so close!"
As with the last post, Chiao-an Awakens, this is a Song Dynasty story involving Yuan-wu. Both stories are notable because the woman practitioner is recognized with a name. In the stories from the earlier Tang Dynasty, most women are simply known as "a nun," "a woman," or a "grandmother."
As Fan Hsien-chien says, it is always so close. Why do we need a method?