One day, I went to his home. Strange to say, before I went there, Gwan Jan-Hai had a dream. What did he dream? In his dream, I had already come to his home and was sitting on his brick bed. He knelt in front of me and begged me to teach him how to cultivate the Way. In the dream, he saw me peel a layer of skin from his body, starting at the head. After it was peeled, I used both hands to rip it off, and then put it on the floor. When he looked at the skin, he discovered it was the skin of a pig! He thought, "How could I have a layer of pig skin on my body?" In the dream, he heard me say, "You aren't a vegetarian, and you eat pork. In the future you will have a pig skin on your back." What kind of dream was this? He told his uncle that he had a dream in which I peeled a pig skin off his body, as he knelt before me seeking the Way. His uncle said, "Oh! He is a person with the Way, and he has brought the Way to our home! The two of us must certainly seek the Way from him." After talking, they went into the room where I was sitting, closed the door so that the rest of the family would not come in, and knelt before me to request the Way. "Have you both gone insane?" I said. "What do you want from me? I'm just the same as you. I don't understand the Way." "We know you cultivate filial piety," said the nephew. The uncle, who knew that I had shown my filial respect by cultivating beside my mother's grave, had wanted to meet me, but never found the time. He recognized me, however, and knew who I was. He said, "This time that you have come to our home; you have brought the Way, for my nephew had a dream last night. In the dream, you peeled a pig skin off his body." "You're confused," I said. "He's not a pig. How could I peel a pig skin off him?" "But it's for real," he said, "and no matter what, you have to teach us how to cultivate!" "I can't teach you to cultivate, but if you want to find a teacher, I can help you look for a Good and Wise Advisor." "We've been looking everywhere for three years," they said, "but we have not found one. Wherever we go it's always the same. They all have a big reputation, but no genuine skill." "I can take you around," I replied.
They had wanted to bow to me as their teacher, but I did not know if they were genuine or false. I did not know if they had true faith in me, or false faith. Were they just testing me? Since I never do anything casually, I told them, "I can take you to find a teacher." I took them to meet Great Master Chang Ren, and many other people, including some great cultivators. But after meeting and talking with them, they always felt dissatisfied. I took them around everywhere to seek instruction in the Way, and after searching, for two years, they still had not bowed to anyone as their teacher. The uncle and the nephew wanted me to be their teacher. At the time, I was still a novice monk, and did not want to take disciples. The two of them then knelt in front of me and refused to get up. Later I taught Gwan Jung-syi to sit in full-lotus. I said, "It's useless to talk about whether I have the Way or not. You should first learn to sit properly, and then I will teach you." They practiced sitting in full-lotus everyday. The nephew had no trouble, but the uncle's bones were old and he had big kneecaps which stuck up about fifteen inches in the air when he tried to sit cross-legged. Everyday, he would use his hands to bend his knees back and forth, pushing and straining... After seventy days, I went to his home again, and saw that his kneecaps had swollen to twice their original size. They were so sore, in fact, that he couldn't even step over a cart rut. He could not walk.
"You shouldn't sit in full lotus," I told him. "Are you still practicing?" "I am. My knees have become so swollen, but now I can sit in full-lotus," said the uncle. "Don't practice anymore. You will not be able to bear it with your legs this way," I told him. Guess what he said! "What do you mean?" said the uncle. "I'm about to die and if I don't practice now, what will I do when I have to die? I would rather take the swelling of my legs. No matter what happens to my legs, I'm going to practice meditation. If I die, that's another matter, but as long as I'm still alive, I'm going to practice." "Fine. Go ahead and practice then," I said, and left.