PZI Teacher Archives

Ikkyu's Attention


A student said to Master Ikkyu, “Please write for me something of great wisdom.” Ikkyu picked up his brush and wrote one word: “Attention.”
The student said, “Is that all?” The master wrote, “Attention. Attention.”
The student became irritable. “That doesn’t seem profound or subtle to me.”
In response, Master Ikkyu wrote simply, “Attention. Attention. Attention.”
In frustration, the student demanded, “What does this word ‘attention’ mean?”
Ikkyu replied, “Attention means attention.”

—Koan Story