Shoushan Xingnian held up a bamboo stick and said to the assembly, “If you call it a stick, you defile it. If you don’t call it a stick, you miss it. What do you call it?”
Shexian Guixing, who heard him, had great realisation. He went close to Shoushan, snatched away the stick, and broke it in two. He threw the pieces down on the ground and said, “What is this?”
Student: “Why did Shexian Guixing break the stick and throw the pieces down on the ground?”
Master: “He showed what cannot be broken.”
Student: “What is that which can’t be broken?”
Master: “He broke the stick and threw the pieces down on the ground.”
It is in order to show what can’t be said that masters say.
It is in order to show what can’t be broken that masters break.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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