Sunday, August 09, 2009

Accidental Enlightenment

I was sorting through some books tonight because I want to make a special shelf for my books on Haiku and related subjects, such as Zen. I ran across my little edition of Zen stories called Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Always a favorite of mine, it nevertheless had not been looked at in some time by me. I opened to a random page and read:

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew. "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."


Then, trying to decide where to put There is No Road, a book of poems by Antonio Machado (1875-1939), I opened the book and read:

I love Jesus, who said to us:
Heaven and earth will pass away.
When heaven and earth pass,
my word will remain.
Jesus, what was your word?
Love? Forgiveness? Charity?
All your words were
one word: awareness.

1 comment:

ggw07 said...

We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.
- Shakti Gawain

I recently found this by accident.
Luckily, that's how I found you too.
Gretchen

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