Zen Boxes: Art Installation: 6 Cutting the Cat

Nanquan Cuts the Cat in Two

Nanquan Cuts the Cat in Two

Mumonkan Case 14

Nanquan saw the monks of the eastern and western halls fighting over a cat. He seized the cat and told the monks; If any of you say a good word, you can save the cat.

No one answered. So Nanquan boldly cut the cat in two pieces.

That evening Zhaozhou returned and Nanquan told him about this. Zhaozhou removed his sandals and, placing them on his head, walked out.

Nanquan said: If you had been there, you could have saved the cat.

  • wood cutlery box from Goodwill in Asheville, N.C.
  • paper Xeroxed scrolls:
    - 2 zenga by Anzan Hoshin roshi
    - portrait of Dogen zenji from Kyoto
  • 14 sculpie figures with cloth robes
  • plastic cat
  • metal rupa and gong