Sen no Rikyu, a tea-master, wished to hang a flower basket on a column. He asked a carpenter to help him, directing the man to place it a little higher or lower, to the right or left, until he had found exactly the right spot. “That’’s the place,” said Sen no Rikya finally.
The carpenter, to test the master, marked the spot and then pretended he had forgotten. Was this the place? “Was this the place, perhaps?” the carpenter kept asking, pointing to various places on the column.
But so accurate was the tea-master’’s sense of proportion that it was not until the carpenter reached the identical spot again that its location was approved.
This story can be found in a book entitled Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, a translation of a 13th century work entitled Collection of Stone and Sand.
Personalized recommendations(As you rate more content, we tailor the recommendations just for you)
Recommended Zen stories
Why physical and mental pain is priceless
Relating to our moods: labeling and monitoring
Don't be competitive!
Want to remember your ratings for next time? Save your profile!
Existing users: Log in here!