One day Rinzai said to Fuke, “Since I am going to spread Obaku’s teaching from now on, you should help me with what I lack.” Fuke, showing homage, retreated. When Kukbu came to see him, he repeated what he had said to Fuke. Kukbu also, showing respect, retreated. Three days later Fuke visited Rinzai again and after greeting him, asked, “What did you say to Kukbu a few days ago?” Rinzai hit him with his stick. Three days later, Kukbu came to see him again as well and after saying hello, asked, “I hear that you hit Fuke three days ago. What happened?” Rinzai hit him with his stick as well.
Rinzai said the same words to both Fuke and Kukbu and responded by hitting Fuke with his stick when he was asked by Fuke three days later what he had said to Kukbu. He meant that whatever he said is the function of the true-Self by revealing the true-Self. Rinzai answered Kukbu’s question ‘I hear that you hit Fuke three days ago. What happened?’ by hitting him as well. He meant that his hitting might appear to be different from his speaking, but they are the same in essence as the function of Emptiness.
Student: “Why did Rinzai only hit his disciples whenever he was asked a question?”
Master: “Because the blind have difficulty distinguishing hugging from wrestling.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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