The revered Zen master Rinzai was on his deathbed and someone asked, “Master, after you’re gone, people will want to know your most essential teaching. Can you condense it to a single sentence so we can treasure it and pass it on?”
Rinzai slowly opened his eyes and suddenly gave a single shout, as loud as a lion’s roar.
Everyone was stunned. They couldn’t believe this withered dying man had so much energy. With everyone staring at their dying master in shock, their minds went blank and silence settled over the room.
Rinzai then said: “This is it.” And he closed his eyes and died.
Osho commented, “This moment, this silent moment, this moment uncorrupted by thought, this silence that was surrounding this surprise, this last lion’s roar over death – this is it. Yes, direction comes out of living this moment. It happens, it is subtle and you will never be certain about it. You can only feel it. That’s why I say it is more like poetry, not like prose; more like love, not like logic; more like art than like science. And that’s its beauty – hesitant as a dewdrop on a grass leaf, slipping, not knowing where, not knowing why.”
Ancient Zen drawing is of Rinzai teaching some pupils.