A monk asked, “What is my teacher?”
The master said, “Clouds rising out of mountains, streams entering the valley without a sound.”
The monk said, “I didn’t ask about them.”
The master said, “Though they are your teacher, you don’t recognize them.” (The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu)

The monk is expecting his teacher to be someone dazzling with words, rather than being able to meet the dazzling reality of the world.

2 thoughts on “Joshu

  1. Ah well, that could be a tricky zen question you are posing there! Historically speaking, yes the same teacher – he lived a long time and there are a lot of these sayings collected. Then again, he might say, ‘the Joshu who said that is not the same as this Joshu.’ Careful which trap you fall into!


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