There was an old woman in China who had supported a monk for over twenty years. She had built a little hut for him and fed him while he was meditating. Finally she wondered just what progress he had made in all this time.
To find out, she...
SUIWO AND THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. On a certain day a certain pupil came to him, and Suiwo gave him the problem, "Hear the sound of one hand."
The pupil remained three years, but could not pass the test. One night he came to Suiwo in tears. "I must return to my home in shame," he said, "for I cannot solve the problem."
"Wait another week," said Suiwo. "Meditate constantly." Still no enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," said Suiwo. The pupil obeyed, but to no avail.
"Still another week," requested Suiwo, but in vain. In despair the pupil begged to be released, but Suiwo asked for one more meditation of five days. They too were without result. Then Suiwo said: "Mediate for three days longer. If you still fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill yourself."
On the second day the pupil was enlightened.
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