Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zen Lesson

One day a young monk at Ryutaku-ji had a kensho, and his teacher, seeking to deepen this experience led him on a long walk up Mount Fuji.  Although the monk had seen the great snow mountain many times before, he truly perceived it now for the first time (like the monk who truly perceived that the sun was round), and all the way up, he kept exclaiming over the harmony and colors of the wildflowers, the flight of birds, the morning light in the fresh evergreens, the sacred white mountain rising in mighty silence to the sky.  "Look Roshi, this pine cone!  See how it is made?  That stone, it's stone!  Isn't it wonderful?  Do you hear the nightingale?  It is a miracle!  Oh! Fuji-san!"

Muttering a little, the old master hobbled onward, until finally his student noticed his long silence and cried out "Isn't it so?  Aren't these mountains, rivers, and great earth miraculous?  Isn't it beautiful?"  The old man turned on him.  "Yes-s-s-s," he said forcefully, "But what a pity to say so!"

Source:  Are We There Yet?  A Zen Journey Through Time and Space, Peter Matthiessen

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