But the best practical
jokes hit someone right in the chink in their flawed armor and go
straight to the heart, leaving the victim changed fundamentally.
The master Gutei made a practice of raising his finger whenever
he was asked a question about Zen. A very young disciple began
to imitate him, and every time Gutei raised his finger when he
preached, this boy would raise his finger too. Everybody laughed.
One day Gutei caught him at it. He took the boy's hand, whipped
out a knife, cut off the finger and threw it away. The boy
walked off howling.
"Stop!" shouted Gutei. The boy stopped, and looked at the master
through his tears. Gutei raised his finger. The boy raised his
finger. Then suddenly he realized it wasn't there. He hesitated
Then he bowed.
They never tell you what those Zen masters were masters OF, do they?