Archive for the ‘Joshu’ Category

If you can say it, I will open the door

September 2, 2007

One day Nansen shut the door of his room, scattered ashes around the threshold, and said to the monks:
“If you can say it, I will open the door.”

The monks said various things in reply, but non pleased Nansen.

Joshu said, “Alas!, Alas!”

Nansen immediately opened the door.

From Radical Zen, Yoel Hoffmann, 1978, Autumn Press

[and compare with A small Jewish tale about the Question]