Fishing With A Straight Hook

I want to make a confession: in working with students on hundreds of koans over some years, I have developed a few favorites in the curriculum. And I also have a couple that I have struggled a bit to embrace. One of the koans I have come to deeply appreciate for its warmth and humanity is the well-known “Dizang’s Intimate” from The Book of Serenity. Dizang asks Fayan, “Where are you going?” Fayan replies, “Around on pilgrimage.” Dizang asks, “What is the purpose of your pilgrimage?” Fayan responds, “I don’t know.” Dizang tells him, “Not knowing is most intimate.”