by bruce marcot
Hiker: Why do you go without shoes? Do not your
feet give you pain in this snow?
Monk: My feet give me pain in this snow.
Pupil: Where is the source of all silence?
Master: Keep talking.
The master climbed a fruit tree and began eating an apple
from the topmost branch, swaying precariously in the wind.
Pupil, from below: Why have you risked your safety to eat from that apple? Is it the sweetest because it is the highest?
Master: There is no other fruit on the tree.
A monk met an old friend he had not seen for many years. The friend chided him for having aged and lost his hair. The monk replied, “It was never there, my young friend.”
Pupil (concerned): Master! How did you get
the bruise on your forehead?
Master (laughing): Turning too quickly, I hit my own head!
A monk returned from a walking meditation in the forest
holding a dead raccoon in his arms. A pupil came out to greet him,
saying “Where is the life of this creature?”
The monk handed him the raccoon.
Pupil: Master, if Tao is the way, but the way has
no name, why do we call it Tao?
Was the flower closed
Or open? I looked again
And then it was gone.
I am young, then old,
And always growing older,
Same age as never.
The master walked the meadow path backwards to watch where he came from grow before him.
A young monk sat by the river, playing with a set of matrushka
dolls – the Russian dolls-within-dolls – opening each one to find yet another,
smaller one, within. At the center, he removed the last doll, opened
it, and it was empty. He dropped it into the swiftly flowing river.
At that moment he reached enlightenment.