Seconds after the cold high note of the bell rang for dokusan the student faced her across the low table.
"My practice has been the koan of my face before my birth, roshi."
"What could be such a thing? Show me this face, your original face before your parents were born."
The blending happened immediately, slow skittering black phantasms, smoke flitting in corners of eyes. Smoking wisps, black faces grey faces without faces, faces with no humanity in their amorphous clouding. The room hazed over, tentatively halted. The master's hallucination jerked, convulsed.
*SNAP* the roshi's fan smartly rapped the table.
The smoke filled her vision suddenly, vortexing closed and coating the walls of her visual space with flooding, coruscating, concrescing, crashing, roiling waves of mottled grey and black oceanic volcanics.
lightning streaked across this hurricane splitting the world
thunder annihilated the cloudvoid tempest
she was smiling a small smile, peeking out through tears-that-became-rain as a fleeting final phenoumenal spasm snatched a fading spark of significance from the jaws of dream-loss
"Your new practice shall be contemplation of Zenkai's request for decapitation...go now, and don't let up for an instant!"