Chapter 2: Unfettered at Last
“I should not be in a hurry,” so he dressed formally and entered a second time to have an interview. Isan was sitting in his place.
Tokusan, holding up his kneeling cloth, said, “Osho!”
Osho is a word signifying great respect, love and gratitude. It also sounds beautiful.
“Osho!” Isan made as if to take up his staff. Then Tokusan gave a “Kwatz!” shout, swung his sleeves, and went out. With his back turned to the lecture hall, Tokusan put on his straw sandals and went off.
In the evening, Isan asked the chief monk, “The new arrival - where is he?”
The chief monk said, “When he went out he turned his back on the lecture hall.”
These words are not to be understood directly, but in a very indirect way. By turning his back on the lecture hall he is saying, “I am not interested in lectures, in words, in scriptures.”
He put on his sandals and went away.
Isan said, “Some day that fellow will go to an isolated mountaintop, establish a hermitage and scold the buddhas and abuse the patriarchs.”
Anyone who does not know the tradition of Zen will think that Isan is condemning him; he is praising. He is saying, “That fellow was really made of the stuff a seeker needs to be made of. First he came and without asking a word simply said, ‘Mew, Mew,’ and without waiting for an answer went out. I was simply watching him. He crossed the hall from east to west, from west to east, just to show me that he had been to many, many masters, ‘You are not new. Do you recognize me as a seeker? Are you ready to be a master to a man who is almost as innocent as an animal?’
“Before I could say anything he went out, but then he thought that it is too quick a departure, ‘I should give a little chance to the old man.’ Then he came in and with great respect, simply said, ‘Osho!’ But I could not accept him, because he is made of a different stuff.”
There are two kinds of disciples: one who will insist to find the truth alone and one who would like to accompany a master, becoming his shadow, peacefully, silently, almost dissolving himself into the master.
Isan remained silent without saying anything on seeing the fellow, but later on when the head monk of the monastery asked him, “What happened?”
Isan said, “Some day that fellow will go to an isolated mountaintop”