The Nose Is Twisted

One day as Hyakujo was visiting his Master, Baso, a flock of wild geese flew overhead. Baso asked, "What are they?" "They are wild geese, sir." "Whither are they flying?" "They have flown away, sir." Baso suddenly took hold of Hyakujo's nose and twisted it. Overcome with pain, Hyakujo cried out. Baso said, "You say they have flown away, but all the same they have been here from the very beginning." Hyakujo attained enlightenment.

Most of the time in everyday life we are superficial and not aware of true life. Hyakujo saw only flying geese and geese flown away. Perhaps the geese were hungry and searching for food; perhaps they were flying south, knowing cold weather was coming. Hyakujo shows no feeling, no communication, no understanding of life. Baso felt terrible observing his student's shallowness. So instead of saying, "Wake up!" he twisted Hyakujo's nose. Satori, enlightenment, is the discovery of true life and the inner relationship of this life with all things.


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