The genius disciple's foolproof Plan to fool the Zen Master!
"Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory" ― Sarah Kay
I grew up on a regular diet of Zen stories. Even today, I am awestruck by their sparkling simplicity and profound wisdom. I wonder, if I understood them earlier...would I need to crawl through my experiences to gain the same insights? Though the stories were short and simple, they are far from being simplistic. They have an inherent ask for a thoughtful reflection as they render different things to different people. I have decided to share each of these stories with you in the way I remember them for you to read, contemplate and share these nuggets of wisdom with people around you...at least those you care about. Here goes the first one:-
Once upon a time, there lived a very scholarly young monk who was very respected by everyone for his intelligence and knowledge. He was well read and had learnt most of the concepts about the way of living. But along with the pride of his genius, he gained arrogance and a belief that he was much more intelligent than everyone around him...but for the Zen Master!
He lived with the Zen master to learn and practice, the lessons of faith and grace. Though, he immensely respected the master for his infinite wisdom but at the same time was jealous of the same. He often fantasized to compete with him and win one day! Day after day his obsession grew stronger and he wanted desperately to prove himself wiser than the master. And, one fine day, while returning from the garden, he saw a butterfly flapping its wings and a brilliant idea flashed through his mind. He thought that he finally found a way...to better his best! The young monk smiled and stealthily walked towards the butterfly and wrapped (caught) it gently between his curved palms.
With a live butterfly wrapped gently between his curved palms, he thought that he has finally found a foolproof way to prove that Zen master is not always right! He decided that he will take this live butterfly to master and ask if it was dead or alive. If master answered "dead", he would open his palm & let the butterfly loose into air and if the master replied "alive", he would squash it mercilessly between his palms and show him the dead butterfly.
The disciple, armed with his infallible trick and pride, approached the Zen master who was deep into meditation & asked, "Master, I am holding a butterfly in my hand. Would you know if it is dead or alive?“ Zen master, being the Zen master...without opening his eyes, answered with a lovely smile "My loving son, It's all in your hands...It's all in your hand!"
Probably, everyone have the disciple and the master residing deep within them. The disciple is a genius and unfortunately is aware of it! So, he is busy painting the solar system on the back of your hands so that you are ready to (ex)claim “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand!” Sadly, more often than not, it is the disciple inside you who overtakes the master. Hence, it will do you well to remember that genius is not achieved by the relentless pursuit of knowing and winning things or people other than you; it is generally the by-product of your keenness to observe, absorb, and absolve your own self!
The master within you, as Haruki said, knows that the fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You endlessly keep running away from it and it chases you madly. You plan, plot and pivot, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some gloomy dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that has come from far away or your stars, something that was destined for you and has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. And you really will have to make it through...no matter if people bleed there, for you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. But once the storm is over you won't remember what, how, when and why of the storm. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about! Aren’t we the ones responsible for what we overcome?
Think...what can you ever really know of others - of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One person in the whole creation you do know is you. The only fate which is placed in your hands. Your life is in your own hands, like the butterfly and It’s up to you and only you to choose what you do with it. As 'Michel de Montaigne' once said “Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.”
Epilogue: Arguments have typically a plurality of causes and hence, the only thing constant about my views and perspectives is that they change...and sometimes...@ diapers changed by an old man under the twin influence of - mobility impairment & loose motion. I rationalise it as an essential cost for being open! The views expressed are fluid in nature and a result of the subject, length and tone of my conversation/s at 'Brown Chai ki tapri'; the intensity and duration of scolding received from my mother; number of zombies killed by me in 'Plant vs. Zombies' & the gestation period of both the view & research done on the idea I am writing about...and hence, liable to change in time, space, degree or manner...even contrary to those you read today! Feel free to challenge, disagree, or share the wisdom that God is supposed to bless and not replace psychiatric treatment!!! The skeptics with action bias are further encouraged to file an RTI demanding the details, duration and expenses incurred towards my psychotherapy...but...I reserve my right to delete any comment even if your comment is an insufficient but important part of an unnecessary but sufficient argument! Or for any reason I may create (abusive, profane, rude, anonymous, not appreciative enough) – so would you just keep it polite...if you may...please...
Disclaimer: It would be dangerously unwise – even if the concomitant pauperism is not factored in – to play tic-tac-toe between my personal and professional opinion (read life), as defunct as either might be. Hence, if any/some/every-thing is stupid here - It is mine and mine alone (Sorry...you can't have what is mine!). Apologies, in advance for the cliched repeat "The opinions expressed here are strictly personal and my own and not those of my employer."Show Edit Publish Un-Publish
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