Funyo's Walking Stick

Funyo pointed to his walking stick and said to his monks, "Whoever understands this walking stick completely, understands the quest for Zen."

It is customary for a Zen monk to visit several teachers, both to learn from the teacher and to test the depth of their own understanding. For these monks, travelling on foot, the necessary walking stick became a symbol of truth-seeking. Funyo was an exceptionally earnest and learned truth-seeker who visited more than seventy teachers. To visit a teacher is not, however, to receive something but rather an opportunity to dig deep within one's own self. Zen Master Dogen said, "To learn Zen is to learn one's self." To understand Funyo's walking stick is to understand.


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