Saturday, July 16, 2005

Now, as already explained, in Zen Buddhism, you do not study the sutras to seek enlightenment. Instead, you find yourself a teacher, who tells you stories, or sayings or whatever, and you have to come to an understanding of these.

But, currently lacking a teacher, I have, out of necessity, resorted to books. A stopgap measure, but one that has already achieved results. Of a sort.

I have been reading the koans of The Gateless Gate.

Once again, I am reassured that this is the right path for me. Witness the seventh koan:

Once a monk made a request of Joshu. "I have just entered the monastery," he said. "Please give me instructions, Master." Joshu said, "Have you had your breakfast?" "Yes I have," replied the monk. "Then," said Joshu, "wash your bowls." The monk had an insight.

From this, we learn two things.

One: Enlightenment really is funny.

Possibly, if I achieve enlightenment (satori), I will always get the punchline. A worthy goal, especially as I am still trying, years later, to understand what it is that you do with the three seashells. (Ah, yes, the questions that are left by action movies.)

Two: Even monks and Zen Masters don't like washing the dishes.


Blogger Jenn said...

The path of enlightenment is paved with chocy, or it should be, if so, more enlightened peeps in this world ey? LOL muah

5:59 PM  

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