The Emperor asked Master Gudo,

“What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?”

“How should I know?” replied Gudo.

“Because you are a master,” answered the Emperor.

“Yes sir,” said Gudo, “but not a dead one.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The master walked with his disciples. He taught using questions full of content, riddles that kept within a whole wisdom of life. And he always surprised his disciples with his wise teachings.

On certain occasion, while dusking, he asked his disciples if they knew how to tell when the night ended and the day started.

The first of them said: “When you see an animal at the distance and you can distinguish if it is a cow or a horse.”

“No,” said the master.

“When you see a tree at the distance and you can distinguish if it is a pine or an eucalyptus.”

“Not either,” said the master.

“OK,” said the disciples, “tell us, when is it?”

“When you look at a man in the face and recognize in him your brother; when you look at the face of a woman and recognize in her your sister. If you’re not able to do this, then, be whatever hour it be, still it’s night for you.”

!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The master Bankei’s talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras nor indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

His large audiences angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self-centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to debate with Bankei.

“Hey, Zen teacher!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”

“Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Bankei.

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.

Bankei smiled. “Come over to my left side.”

The priest obeyed.

“No,” said Bankei, “we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here.”

The priest proudly stepped over to the right

“You see,” observed Bankei, “you are obeying me and I think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen.”

“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

may your bowl be filled with zen this day

(~_~)

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