The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Bankei’s enlighted kill

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A samurai, who was also a fencing master had an audience with Master Bankei.

“After years of training, “began the samurai, “I have reached the stage where my hands respond perfectly according to my mind. Now I am at a level of skill where I can defeat opponents without even picking up my sword. My gaze pierces them to their bones and disrupts them completely. It is the same penetrating look you yourself use to assess the depth of a person’s enlightenment.”

You say you have perfected your skill in your art,” Bankei said.
“Now, try to strike me!”
The samurai hesitated for an instant.

“My blow has already fallen,” said Bankei.

The man’s jaw sagged. “I’m astonished,” he sighed. “Your stroke is swifter than the spark off a flint. My head rolls at my feet. Please, master, teach me the essentials of Zen.”

– Zen master Bankei (1622-1693)

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