Zen

The Essential Matter

Shiti asked his attendant monastic, “Where have you been?”

The monastic said, “I went to the monastics’ hall and had a meal.”

Shiti said, “Do you think I don’t know that you went to the monastics’ hall and had a meal?”

The monastic said, “What else could I have said?”

Shiti said, “I was asking you about the essential matter.”

The monastic said, “If you ask me about the essential matter, I say I went to the monastics’ hall and had a meal.”

Shiti said, “You didn’t miss it. That’s why you are my attendant.”

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Student: “What does going to the monastics’ hall and having a meal have to with the essential matter?”

Master: “It has nothing to do with it.”

Student: “Why then did Master Shiti approve the monastic when he said that he had gone to the hall and had a meal?”

Master: “Because you missed it.”

Student: “What is it?”

Master: “You are showing it to me now.”

 

Commentary:

When you don’t miss it, there is nothing that is not the essential matter.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

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

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