Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Shovel, Dirt and a Root





A student was discussing with his teacher the Koan Mu. The student was told by the teacher, "Keep digging at it!" The student replied, "How can I keep digging at it if I don't know what the shovel looks like?"

The teacher responded, "The handle of the shovel is zazen, the blade is the question, "What is mu?" and the dirt, of course, is mu - but what is it really?"
Later the student read in a book the following quote, "You try to cut off the root of consciousness by sitting."




Digging, tossing dirt, cutting roots...when you cut something away from its life source what is left? You would think something would die. Then again, maybe what one is cutting is a root that has been grafted onto an original root and what the plant has become is a hybrid, not what it originally was. Then it would make sense to cut away from this root.


Truth is, there is too much thinking going here and not enough sitting. Maybe grace is not free. Maybe grace does cost something.


Bows to the teacher,


Alan





1 comment:

Annotated Margins said...

I often wonder if I truly appreciate enough all the things that have no cost.