BROTHER DISCIPLES

The illustrious reviver of Korean Son (Zen) for the modern era, master Kyongho Song-u (1846-1912), had many great dharma-successors. The most formidable was Mangong Wolmyon (1871-1946). Once, Mangong and Suwol (1855-1928), an older dharma successor of Kyongho, were sitting together in conversation. Suwol picked up a bowl of browned rice, a favorite Korean snack, and spoke in the paradoxical language typical of Son/Zen: “Don’t say this is a bowl of browned rice. Don’t say this is not a bowl of browned rice. Just give me one word.” Mangong reached over, took the bowl from Suwol and threw it out of the window. Suwol was very pleased, “Very good. That’s wonderful!”

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