Once upon a time there was a shrine master, whom one old woman devotee and her daughter attended with complete devotion.
About thirty years had passed when the old woman decided to test the shrine Master’s degree of practice. So, she requested of her daughter,
“Today, as soon as he finishes dinner, sit in his lap, rub his face with yours and ask him, ‘Now, this moment, how do you feel?’ ”
The daughter did what she was asked and the shrine master said:
“Decaying tree leaned against the cold boulder,
There is no warm air in the season of bitter cold. ”
According to what he said, he meant, “Even though you have attended me for over thirty years, I do not have any special feeling toward you.”
Upon hearing this story from the daughter, the old woman recognized what level the shrine master had attained.
“Oh,” she lamented, “I have taken care of that idiotic bum for over thirty years for nothing. What a mistake I have made!”
So, she asked him to leave the shrine which she then burned down.
Why did that old woman call the shrine Master, “idiotic bum” and, why did that innocent and pristine man have to leave under the title of “idiotic bum”?
In order to have not been kicked out of the shrine and to have protected the shrine from being burned by the old lady, what should the master have answered when the young girl asked that question?