A MONK ASKED BOKUSHU, "WHAT IS THE INNER MEANING OF THE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHISM?"
BOKUSHU SAID, "I WON'T ANSWER."
"WHY NOT?" ASKED THE MONK.
"BECAUSE," SAID BOKUSHU, "YOU THINK AND THINK AND THEN COME AND ASK ME."
THE MONK FURTHER ASKED, "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BODHIDHARMA COMING FROM THE WEST?"
BOKUSHU SAID, "ARE WE NOT TEACHER AND LEARNER? WHY DON'T YOU COME NEARER?"
THE MONK WENT NEARER, AND THEN BOKUSHU SAID, "WHEN I CALL A MAN ONE FROM EAST OF SETSU, ONE FROM WEST OF SETSU IS INCLUDED. WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THAT?"
THE MONK THEN ASKED, "WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE MEANING OF SOKEI?" -- (WHICH WAS WHERE ENO LIVED).
BOKUSHU SAID, "WHEN YOU MEET A SWORDSMAN IN THE STREET, GIVE HIM A SWORD. IF HE IS NOT A POET, DON'T SHOW HIM YOUR POEM."
ONCE, UMMON EXCLAIMED, "BUDDHISM IS JUST TERRIFIC! THE TONGUE IS SO SHORT." THEN HE ADDED, "SO LONG." HE THEN SAID, "WHEN WE HAVE FINISHED CUTTING WITH A GREAT AXE, WE RUB OUR HANDS TOGETHER."
A MONK ASKED NAN-YIN, "WHAT IS THE GREAT MEANING OF BUDDHISM?"
NAN-YIN REPLIED, "THE ORIGIN OF A MYRIAD DISEASES."
THE MONK SAID, "PLEASE CURE ME!"
NAN-YIN SAID, "THE WORLD-DOCTOR FOLDS HIS ARMS."
A MONK ASKED YAKUSAN, "DID THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM EXIST BEFORE BODHIDHARMA CAME?"
"IT DID," SAID YAKUSAN.
"THEN WHY DID HE COME, IF IT ALREADY EXISTED?" ASKED THE MONK.
"HE CAME," SAID YAKUSAN, "JUST BECAUSE IT WAS HERE ALREADY."
Maneesha, Zen is so strange as far as intellectual understanding is concerned. It looks almost absurd. That is one of the reasons why it has not grown into a vast tree around the world, but has remained a small stream of only those who can see beyond the mind, who can feel it, even though it is illogical, irrational.
Once Picasso was sitting in his garden with a beautiful rosebush; many roses had blossomed on it. A friend asked him, "What is the meaning of the roses?"
Picasso said, "There is no meaning in anything at all, but there is immense significance in even the smallest piece of grass."
You have to understand these two words, `meaning' and `significance'.