Thursday, 12 November 2015


10. The history of Zen Buddhism is not lacking in the names of masters whose actions have sent shockwaves through the tradition. Foremost among these is Gutei, or Jushi if you prefer, the revered exponent of One Finger Zen. The story goes that a visitor to Gutei's temple asked the boy attendant what his master taught. The boy immediately raised one finger. When Gutei learnt of the boy's action, he summoned him, got him to hold up a finger and then promptly cut it off. As the boy ran off screaming, Gutei called his name. Stopping and looking back, the boy saw Gutei raise one finger. Thereupon, we are told, the boy attendant had great realization.

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