When the cook approached, Rinzai related what had just happened. The cook said, “The head monk did not understand you.” The master asked, “And how do you understand it?” The cook bowed. The master hit him, too.
When Rinzai tested the cook by relating what had just happened, the cook responded very wittily and sophisticatedly by remarking, “The head monk did not understand you.” By this, the cook didn’t mean that the head monk had not understood Rinzai but just revealed ‘this’ that Rinzai had asked the head monk if he could sell. He meant, “My answering is the very ‘this’ you presented to the head monk.” Rinzai asked him again so that he might confirm the cook’s answer. He made a proper answer by bowing, and Rinzai approved his answer through hitting him.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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