There's a koan I've been struggling with - and I'm struggling with it not for the first time, either! I do some koan exchange, so I know I'm not the only person who finds this one rather challenging. I'd thus be grateful if as many of you as possible could suggest what you think we're supposed to learn from the koan of Gutei's finger. Here's the koan:
Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to imitate him in this way. When anyone asked the boy what his master had preached about, the boy would raise his finger.
Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. He seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and ran away. Gutei called and stopped him. When the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up his own finger. In that instant the boy was enlightened.
When Gutei was about to pass from this world he gathered his monks around him. `I attained my finger-Zen,' he said, `from my teacher Tenryu, and in my whole life I could not exhaust it.' Then he passed away.
So please tell me - what's that all about?