A monk told Joshu, “I have just entered this monastery. I beg you to teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?” The monk replied, “I have.”
“Then,” said Joshu, “Go and wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.
LISTENING WITH THE DIVINE EAR
Joshu was a very skilled Zen Master and therefore used expedient means to illustrate the essence of true enlightenment and the depth of his heart. If this monk did not really listen to and grasp the truth, he indeed mistook the bell for a pitcher.
Master Basho made it so simple and clear,
It might take a long time to catch the point,
If one realizes that it’s stupid to search for fire with a lantern light,
The rice would not take so long to be done.