…and went back to his seat.
To the monks he said, “At the foot of Mount Daiyu there is a tiger
which you positively must see.
Your old Hyakujo has just had a word with him.”
He informed his disciples that Obaku has also become a master in his own right: he has given the lion’s roar.
On another occasion, it was snowing, and the monk in charge
asked Hyakujo to give a sermon.
Hyakujo said, “Falling in flakes, the color scheme and
pattern are complete. Why must I go to the hall and preach?”
The falling snow, the sound of it, the dance of it, that peace that it brings and the coolness that comes through it – the sermon is going on. Without any words, these snowflakes are already saying it.
What is the need for me to go to the seat and to give you a sermon? If you have eyes, ears – if you have your senses open – the sermon is coming to you from every corner, from all directions. You just have to be silent enough to feel it, to touch it, to taste it. It is not a word, certainly. It is an utterly living, dancing silence.
When Obaku slapped Hyakujo, do you see the response? If somebody slaps you, are you going to dance and laugh? If somebody slaps you, if you are strong enough, you will give him a good slap in return. And if you are the weaker one, you will turn tail and escape.
A Christian missionary was teaching. His whole teaching consisted of a few things in which this statement of Jesus was always present: “If somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other too.”
He had been preaching for years and the statement was clear. But one day a man stood up and slapped the missionary. For the first time the missionary was in trouble. He could not understand, “What kind of person is this?”
He had to be consistent according to his own teaching. So he gave him the other cheek, thinking he would be kind. But that man wanted to test the missionary to see whether he was preaching a truth of his own, or just something borrowed. He slapped even harder.
Now the story turns completely upside down. The missionary jumped on the man and started beating him. The man said, “What are you doing? Have you forgotten your sermon?”
He said, “Jesus has only talked about turning your cheek one time. Now, come on, man to man! To hell with Jesus! You have slapped me twice. I will kill you. That was only a sermon; you don’t have to practice it; it’s just a beautiful statement.”