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Jinfeng’s Rice Cake

Jinfeng’s Rice Cake

One day Zen master Jinfeng was in the monastics’ hall, where sesame rice cakes were being served. He took up one of them and from the teacher’s end of the platform he rolled it into the assembly. The assembly of monastics joined their hands palm to palm. Jinfeng said, “Even if you pick it up, you have only half of it.”
When Jinfeng gave instructions in the evening, a monastic said, “When you had a rice cake, seeing the monastics joining their hands, you said, ‘Even if you pick it up, you have only half of it.’ Master, please say it all for me.”
Jinfeng gestured, holding up a rice cake, and said, “Do you understand it?”
The monastic said, “No, I don’t.”
Jinfeng said, “I have expressed only half of it.”

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Student: “What did Jinfeng mean when said ‘Even if you pick the rice cake up, you have only half of it’?”
Master: “He meant that you should not be deluded by illusions.”
Student: “The master said that he had expressed only half of it. Could you express the other half for me?”
Master: “This is the other half of it. Do you get it?”
Student: “No, I don’t. Could you express the whole of it?”
Master: “This is the whole of it.”
Student: “I still don’t understand it, either.”

Commentary:
The whole of it is only a half to the unenlightened, whereas even a tenth of it is the whole of it to the enlightened.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
#zen #meditation #zenfools http://ow.ly/i/HrHBX

1 thought on “Jinfeng’s Rice Cake”

  1. . Nothing but the whole is expressed always by everything.All things are as one, even discriminations, whether we see it or not.

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