A Confucian visited the Zen master Huitang Zuxin and asked him to explain the matter of Zen.
“There’s a passage in the writings of your master, Confucius, which explains Zen very well. Are you familiar with these lines: ‘My disciples, do you think I’ve withheld anything from you? Be assured, I haven’t held back anything at all.’”
The Confucian started to reply, and Huitang cut him off, shouting, “No!”
The Confucian was left confused by the encounter. Sometime later, however, he and Huitang were walking in the mountains. It was spring and the flowering trees were in blossom. Huitang said, “Can you smell them?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“As I said, I’ve kept nothing back.”