Story of the Old Calligrapher

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Story of the Old Calligrapher

Postby hansen » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:31 pm

A certain Roshi, who is a world-renowned calligrapher, told this, how he had made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Rinzai in China. Upon arriving at the village Lin Chi hails from, the villagers proclaimed "We have a calligrapher here too!"

The Roshi was immediately reminded of the Zen Story "Old Calligrapher. "This is the story:

Once upon a time, an old calligrapher is brought before a monk to give a calligraphy demonstration. From beneath his tattered garments the peasant brought forth an ancient brush, so worn out it only had a few hairs remaining. Encrusted with dried ink, he proceeded to chew on the said 2-3 hairs of the brush with his one remaining incisor.

The monk questioned "How can you write with that brush?"

Old Calligrapher replied: "One tooth full at a time."

as paraphrased by hansen, story by Fukushima Keido Roshi (as I remember it)
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