Searching for the Truth

The disciple told the master, “I am going away to the town on the other side of the hill. There are less distractions there and I can focus on meditating and searching for the truth. But don’t worry, while I am there, I will write to you and let you know my progress.”

After a month, the master received a note which said, “I am now able to enter into deep meditation.”

The master shook his head and tore up the note.

After six months, he received another note which said, “I now know the secret of the Self and of Silence.”

The master sighed and threw the note away.

After a year, he received another note which said, “Now I understand the Path of Stones and the Song of the Forest.”

The master spat at the ground and threw the note into the fire.

Then, three years passed without the master receiving any note from the disciple. The master then learned that one of his friends was going over to that town so he asked him to look up the disciple to see how he was coming along in his quest.

The master’s friend came back two weeks later with a note that said, “Who cares?”

“He got it! He got it!” bellowed the master as he jumped up and down with glee.

Not One. Not Two.

photo by topbanana
photo by topbanana

“Why does it seem that the harder I seek God, the more distant he seems from me?” asked the disciple.

The master smiled and replied, “The distance seems to grow because you seek. Stop seeking and understand that there is no distance.”

“Are you saying that I and God are one?” said the disciple.

“No, not one. Not two,” said the master.

“I don’t understand,” said the disciple.

“The ocean and the wave; the dancer and the dance; the singer and the song; the lamp and its light. Not one. Not two.”

Holy Banana

photo courtesy of darotyka,
photo courtesy of darotyka,

There was once a master whose fame had spread far and wide because of his holiness.

A tourist once came and visited the master, who was seated behind a small table eating a banana. Upon seeing the guest, the master picked another banana from the bunch and offered it to him.

The guest was so awed that this great man would offer something to one as lowly and sinful as him. He left the master’s house with the uneaten banana still in his hands, and wondered aloud what he should do with such a holy gift.

Some of the master’s disciples heard the man and went to tell the master about the guest’s dilemma.

The master laughed and said, “Tell the silly fool to eat it.”

Is There A God?

original photo by sukanto debnath, flickr
original photo by sukanto debnath, flickr

A man approached the master and asked, “Is there a God?”

“Of course,” said the Master.

A year later, the man came again and asked the same question.

“No, I don’t think so,” said the Master.

Yet another year later, the man came and asked the question once more.

The master did not answer but simply smiled.

Then the man said, “At last, I have caught you. You are a charlatan. For three years I have asked you the same question. You probably have not remembered but you once answered ‘yes’ and at another time, ‘no’, and now you simply smile and say nothing. If you really knew the truth, you would not have kept changing your answers.”

The master then led the man to a river and asked, “Look at the river, my friend. This river is not the same river as it was last year. It is not even the same river that it was a moment ago. It is ever-flowing, ever-moving, ever-changing.”

“When I give you an answer, I am not answering your question. I am answering YOU. In a year’s time, many things have happened and you have changed. The way you look at things have changed. The way you thinkĀ  has changed. The way you understand has changed. I, too, have changed much in this time. That is why I cannot keep on giving you the same answer every year. The nature of the question changes because the nature of the questioner has changed. The answer changes because the nature of the one answering has changed.”

“Remember, I am not a piece of dead scripture that you can open and expect to read the same thing every time.”

Why Do You Still Carry Her?

photo courtesy of permanently scatterbrained, flickr
original photo courtesy of permanently scatterbrained, flickr

Two monks had taken a strict vow of celibacy which forbade them to touch a woman, even in the slightest of gestures.

One day, while taking a contemplative walk through the woods, they came upon a river. As they were about to cross, a woman lying on the riverbank called out to them. “Please sirs, I have twisted my ankle and need to get across the river to my home in the village. Would you be kind enough to carry me across?”

The first monk began to respond about how this was impossible given their vow but to his surprise, the second monk had already bent down, carried the woman on his back, and started wading through the strong currents.

They made it across the river and to the woman’s village where the second monk left her with the village doctor. The two monks then resumed their trek through the woods.

After two hours, the first monk said, “Brother, I have to talk to you. I cannot stand it anymore. I am so disturbed by what you did back there. Why did you carry the woman? Have you forgotten our sacred vow? Does it have no meaning for you? Our superior has told us that we must not even graze a single strand of a woman’s hair, and yet here you are brazenly carrying one across your back!”

The second monk replied, “Brother, I left the woman in her village two hours ago. Why do you still carry her?”

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