What kind of fire is the fireboy made out of? Barry Magid August 2nd 2014

Eihei Koroku The fire boy seeks fire

Master Fayen noticed that there was a monk in his monastery who had been there for quite some time and had never come to ask any questions. So he had the head monk summon him and bring him in to examine him.

And so he asked him, "How come you never come into dokusan for any questions?" And the monk said "Many years ago when I was a young monk I studied with another teacher and one day when he lectured on the koan of the fireboy seeks fire, I had a realization that put my mind completely at rest and since then I've had no need to come in and ask any questions." Fayen nodded and said "That sounds very nice, but I'm afraid you may have misunderstood the old master's teisho of the fireboy seeking fire." And the monk said "The boy himself is made of fire, he is the very thing he seeks. There is nothing more to look for." Fayen said, "Now I know you have misunderstood the koan." And he rang his bell and dismissed the monk.

Naturally this disturbed the monk a good deal and he spent all night puzzling over fayen's dismissal of his understanding. And the next day he came back on his own to see Fayen. He said, "Master, what you said last night really upset me and confused me! I thought I really understood that koan, where did I go wrong?" And fayen said, "The fireboy is seeking fire." And with that the monk was more deeply enlightened.

If you found this talk helpful, consider donating to Ordinary Mind

This talk was brought to you by the generosity of people like you. Ordinary Mind Zendo is a non profit organization that depends entirely on the generosity of people like you for its continued existence. If sitting with us, listening to our talks, or supporting a Zen center in New York City is in line with your values, you can make a donation here.

  • Thumb 6029634021517240282
  • Thumb claire
  • Thumb missing
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb image
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb cropped portrait
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb img 1532
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4