Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Koan of the Week

Back to what djobe is famous for, your weekly koan. (if you don’t believe me--do a google search on “Koan of the Week”)

If you are new to this feature, every week (almost) I post a new koan. A koan is a parable passed down for generations in the zen tradition. Here it is:

Three kinds of disciples

A Zen master named Gettan lived in the latter part of the Tokugawa era. He used to say: "There are three kinds of disciples: those who impart Zen to others, those who maintain the temples and shrines, and then there are the rice bags and the clothes-hangers."

Gasan expressed the same idea. When he was studying under Tekisui, his teacher was very severe. Sometimes he even beat him. Other pupils would not stand this kind of teaching and quit. Gasan remained, saying: "A poor disciple utilizes a teacher's influence. A fair disciple admires a teacher's kindness. A good disciple grows strong under a teacher's discipline."


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