found at paperfrog.com:
A young businessman became disillusioned with his materialistic life, sold all his belongings, and retired to a nearby Zen monastery.
After being shown to his cell, he was summoned to an interview with the abbot.
“Tell me,” said the wise old man, “Why is it that you have sought refuge with our community?”
“I have become frustrated with the distractions of the world, Master,” replied the new monk. “Will I find Truth here?”
“Oh, certainly,” nodded the Abbot. “But there’s one catch: our primary rule of practice here is absolute silence. From this moment forward, you are forbidden from uttering a single word. Go and seek enlightenment in perfect peace. If you endure, I will recall you for an interview in ten years. At that time, you will be allowed to speak three words. Do you understand?”
The young monk nodded and withdrew to begin his practice.
A decade passed. The monk struggled through the rigors of monastic life, but remained true to his vow. As promised, the Abbot summoned him for a visit.
“I see you’re still with us,” smiled the Abbot. “You have maintained your vow of silence with great perfection. You may now speak three words — I hope you have chosen them carefully.”
The novice grimaced as he attempted the unfamiliar effort of speech.
“Bed too hard,” he croaked.
“I see,” said the Abbot. “Return to your cell and maintain your silence. If you endure, I will allow you another three words ten years from this day.”
Another decade passed. The novice amazed those around him with his monastic vigor. Through cold and heat, through times of plenty and want, no matter what the circumstance, the novice remained completely mute. At the appointed time, he appeared again before the Abbot.
“You have done well, young novice,” said the Abbot. “It has been twenty years, and from this day forth you will be known as a full member of the monastic brotherhood. You may also speak your three words.”
“Food no good,” stammered the newly received monk.
“Very well,” answered the Abbot. “You are free to go back to your practice. Once again, I require you to maintain the rule of silence. You will be recalled for an interview in another ten years, at which time you’ll be allowed another three words.”
The seasons came and went. In time, another ten years had passed. The young monk had become an older man, his long hair streaked with grey. In all things, he’d endured. He had achieved the highest ideals of monastic discipline. Finally, he was brought into the Abbot’s presence.
“Another decade — gone,” noted the Abbot, who was now well advanced in years. “I see that you have again maintained your vow of silence. The time has come. You may now speak your three words.”
“Forget that,” retorted the monk. “I hate it here. I’m leaving.”
“I am not surprised, said the Abbot. “It’s been thirty years, and all I’ve ever heard you do is complain!”
buddhism | zen | joke
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.
(found at thebigview.com)
(found at thebigview.com)
Posted by dan at 5:59 AM