Digest #10 : 3 Cups & a Ball
- Zeph&Frens Digest #10
THREE CUPS & A BALL
When I was a young man and in the Navy, I got to see my first "cup and ball
scam." This is where a guy on the street has a TV tray with a piece of wood
on it covered by some cloth to form a smooth surface. Now on this he has
three upside down cups. Now what he does is put the ball under one of the
cups and then slides the cups
around. Now if you can guess under what cup the ball is under, you win.
Yeah, I'M sure most of us know this scam, but when you see it, you think,
"Heh, I can scam the scammers.cause ill just pick the cup that I know its
not under. So we get caught up in it.but we lose.
I was told by my Roshi that "I had Buddha-nature. I was Buddha, but did not
know it." So I was under the impression that I was going to find this Buddha
that was someplace in me.
So I looked very hard within. Finding nothing there at I figured if I did
all of the sitting and chanting like a good Zen Center person, I may get a
clue. I did that for a number of years, only to realize that the only thing
I learned was how to chant and sit still for 40 minutes.
I decided that perhaps I needed to study the Sutras and read all of the
works by the great Zen Masters. Some of the Sutras where hard to read and
understand, it was like trying to eat rocks. The writings of the Zen masters
are poetic but not much help in the long run. All I learned from that was
that there are a hell of a lot of ideas about what Zen and Buddhism is, and
that is probably half of the problem.
So I ended up walking away from it all. I said goodbye to my Roshi and
farewell to my friends at the Zen Center. It was then, when I was no longer
playing did I win what I was looking for, being a understanding who I truly
Those who meet the man at the corner who makes the ball and cup game look
easy only win by walking away. It's a game where you will lose at level,
because you are setup to loose.
In the Zen Center, like the ball and cup, you are setup to loose at ever
turn. Yet, how funny it is that when a person has the strength to walk away
from what seems to be an easy game, is when they really win.