The fireboy seeking fire. Our reflexive "This isn't it." Barry Magid October 27th 2012

Miscellaneous Koans

In an old story, a monk on pilgrimage comes to ask a master for instruction in the Dharma. The master looks at him and smiles and says, "Ah, the fireboy comes seeking fire."
There's a long pause.
The master asks, "Do you understand?"
The monk says, "You're saying the thing I'm looking for I already possess."
The master shakes his head and says, "You don't understand," and dismisses the monk.
The monk goes off and has a very bad night.
He goes back to see the Master the next morning. He goes into dokusan quite agitated and confused, "Master, I just don't understand. What about this am I getting wrong?"
The master looks at him and says, "The fireboy is seeking fire."
And the monk has an entirely different realization.

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