Chinshu's Large Radishes

A monk asked Joshu, "I hear that you used to be closely associated with Nansen. Is that so or not?" Joshu replied, "Chinshu produces large radishes."

The radish was a very common, everyday vegetable in Chinese life, and Chinshu was a noted place for growing radishes. Joshu was Nansen's disciple, and everyone know they were close. Here a monk asks such an obvious question to puzzle or embarrass Joshu. But it was no problem for Joshu. "Chinshu produces large radishes" is a most common and obvious fact of life, so obvious that no one can reply. It is just like saying, "the crow is black." True Zen life is simple, direct, and true to fact. 


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