Mokusen Hiki was living in a temple in the province of Tamba. One of his adherents complained of the stinginess of his wife.
Mokusen visited the adherent’s wife and showed her his clenched fist before her face.
“What do you mean by that?” asked the surprised woman.
“Suppose my fist were always like that. What would you call it?” he asked.
“Deformed,” replied the woman.
The he opened his hand flat in her face and asked: “Suppose it were always like that. What then?”
“Another kind of deformity,” said the wife.
“If you understand that much,” finished Mokusen, “you are a good wife.” Then he left. After his visit, this wife helped her husband to distribute as well as to save.
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
Relating to our moods: labeling and monitoring
Why physical and mental pain is priceless
Don't be competitive!
Want to remember your ratings for next time? Save your profile!
Existing users: Log in here!