With everyone born human, a poet - an artist - is born, who dies young and who is survived by an adult.
—Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
From the evening breeze to this hand on my shoulder, everything has its truth.
Shui-lao was a student of the great master Ma-tsu when he asked the classic question of Zen students: “What is the meaning of Boddhidharma coming from the West?”
Ma-tsu immediately kicked him in the chest, knocking him down.
The kick enlightened Shui-lao instantly, and he got to his feet, clapping his hands and unable to stop laughing. Later, when Shui-lao was asked about his enlightenment, he answered: “Ever since the Master kicked me I’ve not been able to stop laughing.”
Having penetrated through the cloud-barrier once and for all,
The way is open in all directions;
Day in, day out, I am free from the distinction of host or guest,
With a fresh breeze rising at each of my steps.
—Daito Kokushi, enlightenment poem
A young monk came to study with Sho Zenji.
“Where shall I enter the novitiate?” the monk asked.
“Do you hear the mountain stream?” Sho Zenji asked.
“Yes,” answered the monk.
“Then enter there.”