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Thursday, July 18, 2002

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  • Jerry Katz
    [Image] A Zen Story By Sam Andrew When I was 18, a guru told me this story which has come to mean more and more as the years pass. Once upon a time there was a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2002

      A Zen Story

      By Sam Andrew

      When I was 18, a guru told me this story which has come
      to mean more and more as the years pass.

      Once upon a time there was a Shogun who wanted a nice
      picture of a chicken to go in his tokonoma.

      So, he went to a very fine artist (Hiroshige? Sharaku?)
      and said, "I want you to paint me the best picture of a
      chicken that you can."

      So, the artist said, "Hai, hai, mochiron, kore o
      shimasu." (Yes, yes, certainly, I will do this.)

      The artist went to his cabin high on Mount Fuji. He
      brought books of bird anatomy, many studies of birds
      done by all the famous artists of the past, He sculpted
      chickens, he painted chickens in oil, he did one
      woodblock after another of nothing but chickens. He
      depicted chickens in bushido poses, crashing through the
      shoji in a samurai palace. He drew noble portraits of
      chickens in virtuous attitudes. He used a sumie brush to
      catch every nuance of a chicken's life. He painted
      chickens in the landscape and in the boudoir, on the
      battlefield and in the barn.

      Ten years passed.

      One day the shogun was at archery practice when he
      thought of his request to the artist. He immediately
      mounted his steed and made his way to the artist's
      cabin. It was hard to enter the door. There were
      sketches of chickens stacked to the ceiling. There were
      statues of chickens everywhere. There were skeletons of
      chickens and paintings of chickens. There was nowhere to
      sit and very little space to stand.

      "Where is my chicken drawing?" demanded the Shogun.

      "Oh," said the artist, "I forgot, sorry." And he took a
      brush, whirled it very quickly on a piece of rice paper,
      handed the paper to the Shogun, and said, "Here."

      The End

      The poet Basho said: "Forget yourself. Become one with
      the universe and your music. Let it flow through you. No
      matter how perfect technically, if your expression is
      not natural and unselfconscious, your music won't affect
      others emotionally but will merely be your subjective



      I rose and walked about, rotating my feet to move my
      aching ankles. Relieved, I returned to my sitting

      The Roshi (master) looked at the place where I had

      "Are you able to see the footsteps?" the Roshi asked.


      He nodded his head. "They were not there before and are
      not there now. There was nothing in your life before and
      nothing in the future. Only" - and he burst forth again
      with "ahhh!"


      from Spiritual Friends list

      Here is a quote from Jourdain's book, "Radical
      Awakening" edited by Gilles Farcet:

      "Every instant, everything we designate outside our
      consciousness that appears real to us, endowed with a
      reality that's autonomous and exterior to our own
      consciousness, everything we perceive outside ourselves
      through the window of our thought, all that is
      hallucinatory. This hasn't one atom of reality. It's a
      purely imaginary phenomenon. They're subjective effects
      that your sleeping consciousness turns into a reality
      that's autonomous and separate from you. That's the
      nature of the hallucination. To sense your past, the
      past in general, or the future, or Paris, or the cosmos,
      as something real, as realities separate from you, is
      to hallucinate like the madman who walks down the
      street talking to a phantom interlocutor. The fellow
      has lost his marbles because he has turned a purely
      subjective and unreal effect into objective reality. All
      this should show you the extent of what must be
      eradicated. All this also shows you the extent of the
      immensity of what must be put back into the heart of
      consciousness to be dissolved there."



      "No God but God"

      "No God..." - there is no God, God does not exist.
      "...but God" - and yet still that living emptiness out
      of which and to which all coming and going is cannot be


      In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west;
      people create distinctions out of their own minds and
      then believe them to be true. -- Buddha

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