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Stars | Psyche | Being

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Zazen : The Moon and the Mystic

In his “Zen Fables for Today”, Richards McLean retells the following story:

“Why must I meditate in order to achieve enlightenment?” demanded the prince of the teacher.

“I can study, I can pray. I can think on issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of mind?”

“I will show you,” said the teacher, taking a bucket of water into the garden under the full moon.

“Now I stir the surface and what do you see?” “Ribbons of light,” answered the prince.

“Now wait,” said the teacher setting the bucket down.

Both teacher and boy watched the calming surface of the water in the bamboo bucket for many minutes.

“Now what do you see?” asked the teacher.

“The moon,” replied the prince.

“So, too, young master, the only way to grasp enlightenment is through a calm and settled mind.”

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