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40 - fish

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My friend and I were summer guests at Tassajara. I was initiating him into the rigors of the hot baths, putting on the act of a drill instructor. The only other person in the water was a small man whose feet almost didn't touch bottom. He joined in our routine until we were all laughing. Later we entered the stream, which was full of hungry, inch long fish. Every few seconds one of them would take a nibble.

Later that evening there was a lecture by the abbot, Suzuki Roshi, whom I recognized as the little man from the baths. In his talk he said that Zen students should be like feeding fish in their practice, nothing more, and he made his mouth and hand move like the mouths of the small fish.

p.42. Kent B. Davis, Tassajara, 1969.