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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Turtles



I posted the following on the forum today for the 

 VINE OF OBSTACLES: ONLINE SUPPORT FOR ZEN TRAINING

I read David Loy’s The World Is Made Of Stories a couple of years ago and there is a story that comes back to me at this point (we are always on the point whether we realize it or not) in my journey. Here is the story. And then I will comment about how it speaks to me. 
 “According to a Hindu myth, the world is upheld by the great elephant Maha Pudma, who is in turn supported by the great tortoise Chukwa.
An Englishman asked a Hindu sage what the great tortoise rests upon.
‘Another turtle,’ was the reply.
And what supports that turtle?
‘Ah, Sahib, after that it’s turtles all the way down.’
Stories all the way down.”
(I (alan) want to say it another way: It’s Questions all the way down!
And therein is my point.
It seems to me we can so easily get hooked on breaking through MU, breaking through the koan, breaking through, breaking through, thinking we will get to the last turtle (which does not exist) and have all the answers. The answer to what, I don’t know. The most important place we can be, and the only place we can be is standing on top of the present turtle. There is no other place to be. 
Good stories create great questions not answers. 
As Rilke said, “live the questions…” Even if we come up with any kind of answer, my guess is it will create another question.
Enjoy your turtle.
By the way, I think the loggerheads are laying their eggs on the east coast now, so don’t step on the eggs. Life would be so boring without turtles.
Alan

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