Then Have a Cup of Tea

photo courtesy of SheCat, sxc.hu
photo courtesy of SheCat, sxc.hu

One day, a travelling stranger came to visit the master Joshu.

Joshu said, “Stranger, have I ever met you before?”

“No, sir. This is the first time we have met,” replied the stranger.

“Then have a cup of tea,” said Joshu.

Joshu then turned to a monk beside him.

“Have I ever seen you before?” he asked.

“Yes, I have been in this monastery for three years,” replied the monk.

“Then have a cup of tea,” said Joshu.

The head monk was quite confused with this behavior. So he asked, “Master, why do you offer a cup of tea whether or not you have met the person before? Why do you even ask?”

“Head monk, are you here?” said Joshu.

“Of course, I am here,” said the head monk.

“Then have a cup of tea,” said Joshu.

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