|Jap., Tenno Dogo
oshobob The Living Workshop
was a monk in training under Dogo called
Soshin. He was a sincere young monk worthy of
his name, which meant "to revere and believe." He
had become distressed, and felt it to be beyond
endurance: since the time he had come to the
monastery for training, his teacher, Dogo, had not
given him, even once, any instructive sermon or
One day Soshin, who could not stand it any longer,
went to his teacher Dogo and asked: "Ever since I
came to this monastery, you have not given me
your gracious teaching even once. What could be
the reason for this?"
The master gave the least expected reply, for he
said, "Why, ever since you came to my monastery,
I have not, even for one moment, neglected to
"What kind of teaching have you given me,
master?" Soshin asked.
"Well, well! If you bring me a cup of tea, don't I
receive the cup? If you serve me meals, don't I eat
them? If you greet me with your hands pressed,
don't I return your bow?
"How have I ever neglected to give you guidance?"
Soshin, listening to this, hung his head deep, and
for a while could not utter a word. Suddenly the
master's roaring cry, as if abusing him, fell on
Soshin's whole being. Dogo said, "When you see,
see it direct! If a thought moves, it is gone!"
At this, Soshin uttered an unintentional cry "Oh!"
and prostrated himself before the teacher, in tears,
whether of joy or sorrow he himself did not know.
This is enlightenment. The sudden opening of all
the mysteries and one is no more, so how can one
know whether these tears are of joy or of sorrow?
It is a tremendously beautiful story for every one of
you to understand...
This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very
Essence of Zen, ch. 7