Q. How did the boy become enlightened when Gutei raised up his finger?
A. Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to imitate him in this way. When a visitor asked the boy what his master had preached about, the boy just raised his finger.
Gutei heard about the boy’s mischief, seized him and cut off his finger with a knife. As the boy screamed and ran out of the room, Gutei called to him. When the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up his own finger. In that instant, the boy was enlightened.
When Gutei was about to die, he said to the assembled monks, “I received this one-finger Zen from Tenryu. I used it all my life and yet could not exhaust it” and then he passed away.
Student: “How did the boy become enlightened when Gutei raised up his finger?”
Master: “Nothing special at all. The boy saw what I am showing to you now.”
Student: “What is it?”
Master: “You are showing it to me now.”
Student: “What is the one-finger Zen that Gutei received from his master Tenryu?”
Master: “That is nothing special, very common.”
Student: “Can I get it, too?”
Master: “You already have it.”
Student: “How can I know that I also have it?”
Master: “Can’t you raise your finger?”
Why aren’t we as wise as Gutei even though all of us have the same ten fingers as Gutei did?”
The wise are not concerned with such fingers.
Don’t say that Gutei passed away. He hid himself in his finger.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/vMDfz