The Master And Hui-Ko
S: Master, I have seen this old man for many years now. He comes every week. He sits with you. And converses with you. Master, who is that old man?
M: His name is Hui Ko.
S: Who is he?
M: A man I met long ago.
S: Please tell me about him.
M: It would be best if you spoke to him yourself.
The student went to the village in order to pay a visit to Hui Ko. He lived on a small farm, in the remote countryside.
When he arrived, Hui Ko recognized him. And graciously invited him into his small and simple home.
This is how the story unfolds.
Hui Ko (H)
S: Sir, I asked my Master about you. And he asked that I speak to you myself.
H: What would you like to know?
S: What is your relationship with my Master?
H: Your Master is a great man. I owe him my life.
S: Please tell me about this.
H: Ohh, it is a very long story, dear student.
S: Please tell me, sir. I beg you.
H: I first went to your Master when my daughter was 15 years old. Early in my life I was not a very good Father. Some say that I was. But I do not think I was. But at age 15, my daughter began to experience troubles. She began to disobey me. And she began to lose her way. She and I were in conflict every single day. Until I could take it no longer. One day, a friend told me about your Master. So I went to see him.
S: What happened when you went to see him?
H: When I was brought to him, he was in the garden. He was walking with his hands folded behind his back. Like this.
S: Yes, Master always walks like that.
H: Yes, yes. I told him of my situation. After I was finished speaking, he knelt down and tended to one of the flowers. I called out to him. But he did not even look at me. A short while later, I left.
S: And then?
H: The fighting at home continued. My home became a very troubled place. The air was thick with grief. A few weeks later I returned to your Master. He was sitting in a chair in the very same garden. I sat in a chair and looked at him. I told him about my troubles once again. He looked at me for a long time. Then he leaned forward. I thought he was about to tell me something. Then he got up and walked away.
S: He didn’t say anything to you?
H: He did not say a single word to me. I kept returning week after week.
S: But sir, why did you keep returning week after week if he did not speak to you?
H: I do not know. As I look back, I am surprised that I did. But I had nowhere else to go.
S: What happened next?
H: The following week, I returned to him again. He was feeding a bird at the back of your monastery. This time I dropped onto my knees, crying. I was a broken man. I could no longer bear what was happening between me and my daughter. I had nothing left. And then before he walked away, he said, “Return tomorrow.”
S: Did you return?
H: Of course. The following morning, I went to see him again. I tried talking to him. But once again he did not respond. And once I again I returned home empty-handed.
S: How were things at home?
H: My daughter and I had stopped talking. Perhaps we reasoned to ourselves that it was better to remain silent than to be in conflict. She would do her things. I would do my things. No words were exchanged between us. For the next three years, I continued to visit your Master.
S: Even though he said nothing?
H: Even though he said nothing. Then on the last day of the third year, he spoke to me for the first time.
S: What did he say?
H: I will tell you.
Hui Ko (H)
H: Master, I have been awaiting your words for a very long time.
M: There is something different about you today than the day you first came to see me, Hui Ko. What is different about you?
H: I do not know, Master.
M: What have you learned?
H: I have learned that I do not know. This is what I have learned, Master.
M: You have learned a great Truth, Hui Ko.
Hui Ko began to cry.
H: Master, I have been through very difficult times.
M: Yes, I understand.
H: Why did you not speak to me for so long?
M: You were not ready to hear anything, Hui Ko.
H: And today, I am ready?
H: Why am I ready, Master?
M: Because of the answer that you gave to my question.
H: That I do not know?
H: But I did not know even the first time I came to see you.
M: There was a critical difference.
H: What is that, Master?
M: When you first came to see me, you did not know the way out. Today, you simply do not know.
H: Your words are true, Master. I have come to see that there is no way out.
M: What else have you come to see?
H: That although there is no way out, pain is also not the way.
M: Then what is the way?
H: The way is to leave behind all ways, Master.
M: You have learned, my dear Hui Ko. You have truly learned. Return tomorrow. And I will be honored to share with you some deeper Truths.
H: Thank you, my Master.