Rinzai 204

With regards to that, a monk then asked Kinzan, “What question and answer were exchanged between you and the monk who just came and left? He just gave a Katsu and went out.” Kinzan said, “That monk came from among Obaku’s assembly. If you want to know, ask him yourself.” More than half of the monks left Kinzan’s community.


Although the phrase ‘If you want to know, ask him yourself’ made by Kinzan was a perfect answer to the question asked by the monk, many of his students failed to grasp Kinzan’s intention because they were deluded by words. That is why more than half of his students left him. However, Rinzai also made a similar answer to Kinzan’s when he was asked who the host was and who the guest was. Majo, when he was asked by a monk what the true-Self is, told him to ask one of his students as well. In order to grasp the answers that masters had the kindness to show, we should not be fooled by the words they used as an expedient to reveal the true-Self.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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