Saturday, 30 January 2016

Baizhang Huaihai [W-G: Pai-chang Huai-hai / J: Hyakujo Ekai]

                Baizhang Huaihai provided in his own activity an example of the life he expected his disciples to lead.  Well into his eighties, he continued to work in the fields every day.  As he became more frail with age, however, some of his disciples decided he should refrain from such exertion and they hid his gardening tools.  When Baizhang could not find his tools, he went back to his room and, at meal time, remained there.  He did not eat that day or the next.  The disciples discussed this and wondered if he were angered by the missing tools, so they put them back in their usual place.  Baizhang returned to his work in the fields and resumed his meals as well.  He told his disciples, “A day of no work is a day of no food.”

[Baizhang Huaihai – Zen Masters of China: 169-74]

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