Hearing the Sound of the Wooden Fish

Guishan was sitting in the dharma hall one day. The head of the kitchen hit the wooden fish announcing the noon meal. The fire attendant threw a piece of wood he was holding into the fire, clapped his hands, and burst into laughter.

Guishan said, “Someone in the assembly should get him here and ask him what’s going on.”

The fire attendant said, “I did not have the morning meal, so I was hungry. That’s why I was happy to hear the sound of the wooden fish.” Guishan nodded.



Student: “Considering the fire attendant’s words, is he enlightened or not?”

Master: “What do you think of his words ‘I didn’t have the morning meal, so I was hungry’?”

Student: “I think he was hungry.”

Master: “You missed what he showed by clinging to his words.”



What matters is not what others say but whether you grasp it or not.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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