The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Koan: Accurate Proportion

Koan: Accurate Proportion

Sen-no Rikyu, a tea-master, wished to hang a flower basket on a column. he asked a carpenter to help him, directing the man to place it a little higher or lower, to the right or left, until he had found exactly the right spot. “That’s the place,” said Sen-no Rikyu at long last.

The carpenter, to test the master, marked the spot and then pretended he had forgotten. “Was this the place, perhaps?” the carpenter kept asking, pointing to various places on the column.

But so accurate was the tea-master’s sense of proportion that it was not until the carpenter reached the identical spot again that its location was approved.

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