Jinfeng Holds Up a Pillow

One day Jinfeng held up a pillow and said, “People call this a pillow. I say it is not a pillow.”

A monastic said, “Master, what do you call it?”

Jinfeng held up the pillow.

The monastic said, “If so, I will practise accordingly.”

Jinfeng said, “What do you call it?”

The monastic said, “A pillow.”

Jinfeng said, “You have fallen into my pit.”

Student: “How would you have responded if you had been in the monastic’s shoes?”

Master: “I would have snatched the pillow from the master and hit him with it.”

Student: “Why did the master say that the monastic had fallen into his pit?”

Master: “Because you have fallen into his pit.”


He who is addicted to staying in a pit is prone to forget his situation.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

1 thought on “Jinfeng Holds Up a Pillow”

  1. I didn’t get why the master said that he will “snatch the pillow and hit him”. Can anyone explain?


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