Shitou’s ‘Ask the Pillar’

Shitou was once asked by a monastic, “What is the significance of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?”

Shitou said, “Ask the pillar.”

The monastic said, “I don’t understand it.”

Shitou said, “I don’t understand it, either.”

Student: “Why did Shitou tell the monastic to ask the pillar instead of answering his question?”

Master: “He was compassionate enough.”

Student: “What did Shitou mean when he said that he didn’t understand it, either?”

Master: “Poor Shitou is blamed for being too compassionate!”


The most valuable is not the rarest but the commonest.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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