I wish you a Bright Zen morning. Zen story time, it is!
One Zen story a day, keeps ego and negativity away!
Today I bring you a Zen story that highlights the pitfalls in a truth seeker’s life.
The story also points to the ultimate experience. The experience of truth by mere knowledge is not experience, it is only knowledge. But it helps, if used properly.
It is a common mistake to understand the knowledge about the truth as the TRUTH and hence live your life, without any practical changes, boasting about the knowledge and hence boosting your ego. This is the most common catch for the intellectual ones who walk on this ultimate path. Beware of it.
Let us discus more after reading the story –
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another.
He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku. Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist.
The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”
Dokuon, who was sitting quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.
“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”
Everything comes from the source and everything dissolves back into the source.
There are two types of knowledge. One that comes through the intellect, and other that comes from the experience. The one that flowers from the experience is called Wisdom.
It is important to know the truth through intellect, as well as through experience.
By intellect, a seeker understands everything about the truth and hence understands the limitation of the intellect. He knows that it cannot be known. Understanding this through intelligence is called as Gyana Yoga. Understanding the limitation of the intelligence/intellect (Buddhi) is the purpose of this experience.
The second stage is where the seeker shifts in the experience of the truth and hence the seeker who thought himself as a ‘separate’ entity dissolves and only experience remains. This is the experience of the experience or Self-Experience or Self-Realization.
To stabilize in this experience is the purpose of human life.
Let’s go to the story –
Yamaoka Tesshu is a truth seeker who visits one master after another. He had read, collected and understood, a lot of knowledge about the truth which has given him the experience through the intellect. He is repeating that knowledge to his Master, Dokuon.
There is no use in boasting your knowledge to the master, because that is not the purpose of going to the master. You go to the master, to receive and not to give.
Master has already known and has become one with his true nature. There is no point in showing off or telling the master what you know. He already knows and he also knows how to throw you into that ultimate knowing.
His ways of teaching might be different, unique or completely illogical, because he knows your vessel, its patterns, conditionings, knowledge, habits and so on. He might tell the same thing differently to different seekers, on account of the differences in their vessels.
Master whacks Yamaoka with a bamboo pipe and he gets angry. At this moment, master asks – “Where did this anger come from?”
If the true nature is emptiness and nothing exists, how did the anger come and where did it come from?
Everything arises from emptiness.
Points to Contemplate –
- Who is saying that nothing exists?
- If only truth exists, then who is the one to declare this?
- To understand and express formless, form exists. Does that mean that form is separate from formless?
- What is the mystery of holy trinity? – e.g. Seer, Seen, Sight (Drushta, Drushya, Darshan)
Have a pure, simple and powerful life!