31. Everything Is Best
When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.
"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."
At these words Banzan became enlightened.
32. Inch Time Foot Gem
A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.
''Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:
Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.''
33. Mokusen's Hand
Mokusen Hiki was living in a temple in the province of Tamba. One of his adherents complained of the stinginess of his wife.
Mokusen visited the adherent's wife and showed her his clenched fist before her face.
"What do you mean by that?" asked the surprised woman.
"Suppose my fist were always like that. What would you call it?" he asked.
"Deformed," replied the woman.
Then he opened his hand flat in her face and asked: "Suppose it were always like that. What then?"
"Another kind of deformity," said the wife.
"If you understand that much," finished Mokusen, "you are a good wife." Then he left.
After his visit, this wife helped her husband to distribute as well as to save.

The purport of this Zen story is that there is a middle way between being too stingy and too generous. Mokusen's clenched fist represents being too stingy, while his open hand represents being too generous. The woman's answer to both questions shows that she understands the importance of finding a balance between these two extremes.

In the context of the story, the woman's husband was complaining that she was too stingy. Mokusen's visit helped the woman to see that there was a problem with her behavior, and that she needed to find a way to be more generous. After Mokusen's visit, the woman began to help her husband to distribute their resources as well as to save.

The story teaches us that it is important to find a balance in all things, including our finances. We should not be too stingy, but we should also not be too generous. The middle way is the best way to live.

Here are some additional thoughts on the story:

The clenched fist represents the accumulation of wealth. It is a symbol of greed and materialism.
The open hand represents the sharing of wealth. It is a symbol of generosity and compassion.
The middle way represents the balance between these two extremes. It is a symbol of moderation and wisdom.
The story of Mokusen's hand is a reminder that we should not let our financial concerns control our lives. We should find a way to be generous and compassionate, while still being responsible with our resources.