There was a fisherman in China who was using a straight hook to fish for forty years.

When someone asked him, "Why don't you use a bent hook?" he replied, "You can catch ordinary fish with a bent hook, but I will catch a great fish with my straight needle."

Word of this came to the ear of the Emperor, and he came to see this fool of a fisherman for himself. The Emperor asked the fisherman, "What are you fishing for?"

The fisherman replied, "I was fishing for you, Emperor."

--- From Holding the Lotus to the Rock
The Autobiography of Sokei-an,
America's First Zen Master

Michael Hotz, Editor
©2002 Four Walls Eight Windows

Go Up     Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH

Send us an e-mail