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Sour Miso 

The cook monk Dairyoat Bankei's monasterydecided that he would take good care of his old teacher's health and give him only fresh misoa paste of soy beans mixed with wheat and yeast that often ferments. Bankeinoticing that he was being served better miso than his pupilsasked: "Who is the cook today?" 

Dairyo was sent before him. Bankei learned that according to his age and position he should eat only fresh miso. So he said to the cook: "Then you think I shouldn't eat at all." With this he entered his room and locked the door. 

Dairyositting outside the doorasked his teacher's pardon. Bankei would not answer. For seven days Dairyo sat outside and Bankei within. 

Finally in desperation an adherent called loudly to Bankei: "You may be all rightold teacherbut this young disciple here has to eat. He cannot go without food forever!" 

At that Bankei opened the door. He was smiling. He told Dairyo: "I insist on eating the same food as the least of my followers. Whe you become the teacher I do not want you to forget this."




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