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A monk asked his teacher Joshu, “What is Zen?” The teacher replied, “The cypress tree in the courtyard."

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1 Sara Di Diego = "Another version of this is found from the Mumonkan, Case 37:A monk asked Joshu in all earnestness. “What is the meaning of the patriarch’s coming from the west?”Joshu said, “The oak tree there in the garden.”Work Cited:http://moosiszenjourneys.org/joshus-oak-tree/"
2 Sara Di Diego = "Another version of this is found in the Book of Serenity, Case 47:A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Chan Buddhism?”Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the yard.”Work Cited:http://moosiszenjourneys.org/joshus-oak-tree/"
3 Sara Di Diego = "This answer basically says that it is not important what zen is or why the founders came from the west.  The main point is that the tree has no beginning nor end and it is everywhere.  The trees roots are the ground and surround us all.  Thus it is not important to know exact answers, but that somethings just are.Work Cited:http://moosiszenjourneys.org/joshus-oak-tree/"