"You Have It Now, You Have It Now"

a story about Hakuin

D. T. Suzuki

This story about Hakuin is told by D. T. Suzuki in Essays in Zen Buddhism, first series (New York: Grove Press, 1961). Hakuin was one of the most influential figures in Japanese (Rinzai) Zen Buddhism. D. T. Suzuki was one of the most significant figures in introducing Buddhism and Zen to the West.

D. T. Suzuki
D. T. Suzuki

One day Hakuin (1685-1768) went to his Master, Shoju, to demonstrate his understanding of Zen. Engaged by Shoju in fierce dialogue, Hakuin recoiled more and more and the Master grew seemingly angrier by the minute. In the end, Shoju threw him over the porch of the house. Hakuin fell several feet, hitting his head against a stone wall. Shoju stood over his disciple, laughing mightily, which brought Hakuin around again. But even then, the old Master berated him, calling him names.

In his desperation, Hakuin seriously contemplated leaving his Master — a predictable reaction of the ego resistive to surrender. Then the unexpected happened. During his begging-round, a woman refused to give him any rice. Absorbed in thought, he continued standing in front of her house, which she mistook as a sign of juvenile impudence. She swung a heavy broom at him, knocking him down on the ground.

When he regained consciousness, he found that his inner eye had been opened. Overjoyed, he returned to the monastery. Master Shoju instantly recognized the transformation in his devotee. He gently slapped his back and said, “You have it now, you have it now.”

Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
© Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

Technical problems with our site? Let our webmaster know.