The Story of Kasan


I’ve been catching up on my reading and decided to reread one of my favourite books “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones”. It’s a compilation of Zen stories by Paul Reps. Despite having read it many times over the years, I understand very little but I always feel better afterwards. I thought I would introduce the story of Kasan which I think it is very insightful; especially with the plethora of Karate teachers trying to sell their goods on the internet. I hope you enjoy it.

64. Kasan Sweat

Kasan was asked to officiate at the funeral of a provincial lord. He had never met lords and nobles before, so he was nervous. When the ceremony started Kasan began to sweat. Afterwards, when he had returned, he gathered his pupils together. Kasan confessed that he was not yet qualified to be a teacher for he lacked the sameness of bearing in the world of fame that he possessed in the secluded temple. Then Kasan resigned and became a pupil of another master. Eight years later he returned to his former pupils enlightened.