Joshu said, “From Zuizo Temple.” Zuizo means figure of bliss.
Nansen laughed – he had not laughed for many months – and asked, “Have you seen the figure of bliss?”
Joshu said, “The figure of bliss, I have not seen. A lying Buddha, I have seen.”
At this Nansen stood up – he had not been out of his bed for almost a year. At this Nansen stood up and asked, “Do you have a Master already?”
Joshu answered, “I have.”
Nansen asked, “Who is your Master?” as if all sickness had disappeared, as if he were young again. His voice was clear, youthful, vigorous, vital: “Who is your Master?!”
Joshu laughed and said, “Although winter is past its peak it is still very cold. May I suggest, my Master, that you take good care of your body?” And that was that.
And Nansen said, “Now I can die peacefully. A man has arrived who can understand my language. A man has arrived who can meet not on the surface but in the depth.”
Joshu said, “My Master, take good care of your body.” Just saying that, the initiation had happened. And the way Joshu said, “Although winter is past its peak, it is still very cold,” he knows how to speak in metaphors. He knows the way of poetry. And he knows the way of love. That’s why he said, “May I suggest, my Master, that you take good care of your body. Please lie down. You need not jump out of your bed. You are my Master! I have not seen bliss yet, but I have seen a Buddha.”
The Master recognized the disciple, the disciple recognized the Master – in a single split moment. What transpired? That which transpired is beyond language. But still that, even that, has to be told in language. Even this story has to be related to you in language. There is no other way.
These words of Master Lu-Tsu are very mysterious. Try to understand them through your heart in a very loving, sympathetic way.
There are two ways to listen to a thing. One is the way of the critic who is constantly inside criticizing, judging, evaluating – whether it is right or wrong, whether it fits with me or not, whether it agrees with my knowledge or not. He’s constantly comparing, criticizing. That is not the way to understand these beautiful sutras. These sutras are beyond the critical mind. They are available only to one who is sympathetic; or, even better, to one who is empathetic – who can fall in tune, who can become just open and listen totally – so it is not only the physical heart but the deep, hidden spiritual heart that is stirred by them.