Guishan’s Water Buffalo

Guishan said to the assembly, “One hundred years from now I will be reborn as a water buffalo at the foot of this mountain. On the left side of the buffalo’s chest the characters, ‘I am a monastic of Guishan’ will be written. If you call it the monastic of Guishan, it will be a water buffalo. If you call it a water buffalo, it will be the monastic of Guishan. Tell me, what will you call it?”

Yangshan came forward from the assembly, bowed, and walked away.



Student: “What will you call it?”

Master: “I will call it a water buffalo?”

Student: “How could you call the monastic of Guishan a water buffalo?”

Master: “Because I respect him.”



If you know the Buddha, every name is His name.

If you don’t know the Buddha, even Buddha is not his name.


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


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

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