Letting Go / Hanging On / Zen

Sitting in a hospital Emergency Room recently, I finally read the cute tiny “Zen” book(1) I bought years ago but hadn’t yet read.

It has this version of a 'Zen story' I’d heard in a slightly different form:

“A Zen monk and his student approached a wide river. On its bank stood a pitiful beggar. “I must cross, but I am afraid of drowning,” said the beggar.

“I will carry you,” replied the monk. His student did not trust the beggar and followed closely in order to protect his master, but soon the monk delivered the beggar to the far shore.

For one month, the student lamented his master’s lack of caution. Finally, he confronted the monk.

“I carried this man for a brief moment,” the monk laughed. “You have carried him for thirty days.”

Ahhhhhh yes. Letting go, eh??

Soooooo good for our souls…


p.s. Had this funny thought last night, eating my Korean meal with chopsticks: Heck, it’s easy to be Zen while eating with chopsticks. It slows you down so (well, it slows me down anyway; I am not terribly proficient with chopsticks!). The food might make it to one’s mouth on this attempt; it might not. Whatever

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1) Zen, editedby Julie Mars, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2002.