Huifeng wrote:Luke wrote:I've always liked the ancient Zen master Ikkyu.
Once Ikkyu was invited to a banquet by wealthy patrons. Ikkyu arrived there clad in his usual beggarly robes. The wealthy host, unable to place him drove him away. Ikkyu who then went home clad his body in his ceremonial robe of purple brocade and returned to the patron's place.
Ikkyu was received with great respect this time and shown into the banquet room. Inside the room, Ikkyu removed his grand robe, placed it on the cushion and left the place telling : "I guess you invited the robe as you turned me out a little while ago".
Actually, rather than this story coming from Ikkyu (~~ 14th century), the original comes from Kasmir in about the first century BCE. Probably a few dozen different teachers have been accredited with this story over the last two thousand years.
A version I heard left a greater graphic impression. They drove out the old starving beggar asking for food because he made himself all dirty with torn clothes and put mud on himself. They didn't recognize him and ran him off because they were "waiting for a great master to arrive and couldn't have such a person hanging around".
So he left and returned later wearing his beautiful grand silk robes and beads. When the hosts invited him in and began serving the dinner, rather than the master removing his grand robe, placing it on the cushion and leaving the place... he actually started taking the food in his hand and smashing and smearing the food all over his robe and pouring tea on himself.
When they asked him what the heck he was doing he said; "You never really wanted to feed me.. I was just here an hour before and you drove me out. I see what you really wanted was to feed these robes".
Then they were like "Sorry, sorry, sorry!!"