"Once, after I (Hakuin) had set forth my understanding to the master (Etan Zosu) during dokusan, he said to me, 'Commitment to the study of Zen must be genuine. How do you understand the koan about the dog and Buddha-nature?'
'No way to lay a hand or foot on that,' I replied.
He abruptly reached out and caught my nose. Giving it a sharp push with his hand, he said, 'Got a pretty good hand on it there!' "
Some people use shock therapy to transmit dharma; others feel placid serenity is more the trademark of one ready to share enlightened understanding. Participants in this blog cover the full range. In fact, I've had the Dojin Roku representative of each extreme sitting here in sangha at the same sesshin!
Which approach do you find most awakening - the warm smile or the bucket of icy water?