Rinzai 203

Kinzan had a community of five hundred monks, but there were few who consulted him for interviews. Obaku charged a monastic to go to Kinzan for an interview, and asked him, “When you arrive, what will you do?”

The monastic said, “When I get there, expedients will present themselves.” Having arrived, he went up the Dharma Hall in his travelling outfit and saw Kinzan.  When Kinzan was at the point of raising his head, the monastic gave a Katsu. When Kinzan was about to open his mouth to say something, the monastic shook his sleeves and left.


The monastic revealed the true-Self by saying, “When I get there, expedients will present themselves” when he was asked by Rinzai what he would do when he arrived. His answer implied, “There is nothing but this that I can do.” In fact, when he met Kinzan, he responded to Kinzan by giving a Katsu and by shaking his sleeves and leaving, which was what he had told Rinzai he would do when he arrived at Kinzan’s place. Kinzan might seem to have failed to handle the monastic properly, but we should know that he left nothing to be desired.

Student: “Why didn’t Kinzan say anything when the monastic came to him?”

Student: “Because you missed what he said.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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