I heard the following at a retreat:
A monk asked Joshu in all earnestness, “I have just entered this monastery. I beg you, Master, teach me.” Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice gruel?” The monk answered, “Yes, I have.” Joshu said, “Wash your bowl.” At that moment, the monk was enlightened.
Hearing this for the first time brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is the pure simplicity of the message. The pure simplicity of the truth. The pure simplicity of thusness. Words defile the message.