‘Fayan asked Elder Jiao, “Did you come by boat or by land?”
Jiao said, “By boat.”
Fayan said, “Where is the boat?”
Jiao said, “The boat is on the river.”
After Jiao had withdrawn, Fayan turned around and asked a monk standing by, “You tell me, did that monk just now have eyes or not?” (The Book of Serenity)

Hopefully the monk was not stupid enough to hazard a reply. So did he or not? The replies to the master’s questions, are they banal, or are they the truth? Should Elder Jiao have started making pithy observations about letting go of the raft once he had crossed the river? Perhaps you just had to be there to see his eyes.

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