Rinzai passes by a butcher’s shop

1001 Tales Discourses

An anecdote told by Osho where a monk became enlightened when he overheard a butcher say, ‘I never sell anything that is not the best.’

Butcher shop

I have heard:

A Zen monk, Rinzai, was passing from a marketplace. He was near the shop of a butcher, and a customer was asking the shopkeeper, “Give me the best meat you have.” The butcher said, “What nonsense! I never sell anything that is not the best. Here everything is the best.”

And it is said, hearing this, Rinzai became enlightened.

The moment he heard this – “Here, everything is the best” – it shattered something in his mind. A breakthrough, a piercing insight – everything is the best?… and he realized something.

That’s how it is, the whole existence: it is never less than the best. And he danced. And when he came back to the monastery, his master hugged him and said, “So! – so it has happened. Now tell me the whole story, how it happened.”

Rinzai said, “It is ridiculous. It happened by hearing a butcher say something to his customer.”

Osho, The Divine Melody – Discourses on Songs of Kabir, Ch 4, Q 2 (excerpt)


Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

Comments are closed.