A monk asked, “What is the Buddha’s true experience of reality?”

Joshu said, “Is there anything else you don’t like?”


A monk asked, “What is an idiot?”

Joshu said, “I’m not as good as you.”

The monk said, “I’m not trying to be anything.”

Joshu said, “Why are you being an idiot?”


Joshu said, “I can make one blade of grass a sixteen foot golden Buddha, and I can make a sixteen foot gold Buddha into one blade of grass.  Buddha is compulsive passions.  Compulsive passions are Buddha.”

A monk asked, “How can compulsive passions be escaped?”

Joshu said, “What’s the use of escaping?”


A monk asked, “What if the three-pronged sword of wisdom has not yet fallen?”

Joshu said, “Densely packed together.”

The monk asked, “What about after it has fallen?”

Joshu said, “Wide open spaces.”


A monk asked, “What is the fact that I accept responsibility for?”

Joshu said, “To the ends of time you’ll never single it out.”


A doctor asked, “Does an accomplished person go to hell or not?”

Joshu said, “I cut in at the head of the line.”

The doctor asked, “You are a great person.  Why do you go to hell?”

Joshu said, “If I had not gone, how could I have met you here?”


A monk asked, “What is the perfect question?”

Joshu said, “Wrong!”


A monk asked, “What are honest words?”

Joshu said, “Your mother is ugly.”


A monk asked, “Two mirrors are facing each other.  Which is the clearest?”

Joshu said, “Your eyelids hang over Mount Sumaru.”


A monk said, “I don’t have a special question.  Please don’t give a special reply.”

Joshu said, “How extraordinary.”


Joshu and an official were walking the the garden and saw a rabbit run away.

The official said, “You are a great person.  Why did the rabbit run away?”

Joshu said, “Because I like to kill.”


A monk asked, “What is the unending depth of the deep?”

Joshu said, “Your questioning me is the unending depth of the deep.”