PZI Teacher Archives
Zhaozhou and the Hermits (GG11)
Zhaozhou visited a hermit and asked, “Anybody in?” “Anybody in?”
And the hermit held up a fist. And Zhaozhou said, “Freely you give and freely you take life. How wonderful!”
He made a deep bow and left. Then he went to a hermit and said, “Anybody in? Anybody in?”
And the hermit held up a fist. And Zhaozhou said, “Oh, the water here is too shallow for a big ship to anchor in,” and he left.
—Gateless Gate Case 11
Dharma Theme: Tea Ladies, Hermits, & Other Strange Teachers Along the Way
To meet a Tea Lady was always a somewhat risky proposition. Usually, in koan-ville, an unsuspecting traveler hurrying on their way somewhere else—consumed with their own knowledge and problems— would encounter a tiny wayside establishment with a deeply mysterious proprietor on hand.