When Yang-shan Hui-chi (807-883), as a young monk, paid a visit to the Ch'an master Hsing-k'ung, there was a monk who asked Hsing-k'ung:
-What is the meaning of the Patriarch's coming from the West?
RETURNING WITH EMPTY HANDED
Shih-tou Hsi-chien (700-790) was a very well known Chinese Ch'an master. As a young monk, he was one of the disciples of the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng. After Hui-neng passed away, Shih-tou continued his pilgrimage... He paid a vist to the Great master Hsing-szu at the Ching-yuan mountain. Hsing-szu asked: -Where did you come from? Shih-tou replied: -From Tsao-chi [referring where Hui-neng resided]. -What did you get at Tsao-chi? -Before I was at Tsao-chi, I was not lacking anything. -If so, why were you there? -If I were not there, how could I know I did not lack anything?
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