Tuesday, December 3, 2013

why meditate

An elder monk who finds a young monk sitting in a meditation pose inquires, 'Why are you sitting in meditation?'

The younger replies, 'By sitting in meditation I hope eventually to become a buddha'.

The elder monk picks up a brick, walks across the carefully tended Zen rock garden and begins rubbing the brick against one of the ancient stones.

The younger one laughs and asks, 'What are you doing?'

To which the elder says, 'I am polishing this brick in hopes that eventually it will become a mirror'.

the end


marja-leena said...

Wisdom and humour all in a wonderful illustration, Susan!

Sean Jeating said...

Why would I come to think of Nasreddin Hodja? :)

Nasreddin Hodja was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers. Whatever Nasreddin did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Nasreddin would stop, shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling "Hu Hu Hu!". So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same.
One of the merchants, who knew Nasreddin, quietly asked him: "What are you doing, my old friend? And why are these people imitating you?"
"I have become a Sufi Sheikh," replied Nasreddin. "These are my Murids (spiritual seekers); I am helping them to reach enlightenment!"
"And how do you know when they ahve reached enlightenment?"
"That’s the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left – have reached enlightenment!"

susan said...

The wisdom came from elsewhere but I will cop to the picture :)

susan said...

The Nasreddin stories are more treasures waiting to be plumbed for illustrative purposes. I spent about five years worth of many Saturday nights attending Sufi zhikrs and the Sheikh's tales before dinner were always a high point.

This story was so good I shared it with numb :)

Rob-bear said...

You have a collection of these tales, don't you. And they are delights! Thanks for sharing both of today's.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Life As I Know It Now said...

I've come by to say hello sweet susan. I see you are still on the path and hope you are feeling better.

Tom said...

There always has to be an old smart a---e somewhere in the story doesn't there? So getting old can't be all bad. :)

susan said...

I certainly know where to find them, Rob. The nice thing is that many of them are relevant for anyone.

susan said...

Hi Lib! Nice to see you even if just for a brief visit. I'm feeling better and I hope you're feeling well.

susan said...

I think that's what makes so many of these stories so cool.
At least age has its compensations :)

Lydia said...

Ah, a truly wondrous post, Susan. Just the message I needed today. What a beautiful drawing and lesson.
A friend of mine just shared a poem at fb with me, her favorite Robert Frost poem, in which a crow was mentioned. It reminded me of you and I gave her the link to your blog, as I think she would love it here as much as I do.

C-c-c-c-old here. 14 degrees the last two nights, and 11 degrees predicted for Saturday night. I realize it is nothing like your winters there, but you know this is unusually Brrrrrrrrr for these parts.

susan said...

I'm very happy you like it so much, Lydia. These zen stories are proving to be just the inspiration I need as a long, dark winter closes in around us. Thanks too for sending a friend by to visit - I love having guests!

Wow. That kind of temperature around Portland is very unusual and hopefully won't last long. I'm getting more used to the extreme cold around here than I was a couple of years ago but I will always miss my favorite city.

ps: I love that Robert Frost poem too. Crows are favorite companions of our walks in the seaside park - of course, they do expect peanuts.

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

okjimm said...

ha.... I used ot polish bricks! but after two years they let me out on probation.
I too like the zen stories.....especially after my daughter explains them to me. b good and stay warm. I am not looking forward to this winter at all. I wish to be a bear.... have someone wake me in the spring.

susan said...

Sounds like you got out for good behavior.

I'm not looking forward to winter either. While we were occupied watching a movie about 4" of snow fell outside. One of these days soon it's going to come and stay for longer than I like.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Lovely picture and saying – I think that polishing a rock to magically try and make a mirror is no different to attempting divinity thorough meditation, however beneficial different forms may take along life’s long and winding road.
Best wishes

okjimm said...

Susan... I think winter is here to stay... only about three inches of snow on the ground... todays's high temp is only expected to be about 10F... tomorrow's low,,,, about -10 F...sucks.

but...there are always jokes...

A Zen master visiting New York City goes up to a hot dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything."
The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill.
The vendor puts the bill in the cash box and closes it. "Excuse me, but where’s my change?" asks the Zen master.
The vendor responds, "Change must come from within."

susan said...

Thanks, Lindsay. You're certainly correct in your assessment.

Best wishes

susan said...

It's pretty cold here too with just enough snow and ice underfoot to make walking tricky. I don't much like it either but here we are and what are we going to do?

That was a great story - especially the bit with turning an old punchline into a new joke.