1. I confess I sometimes like to play around with koans like a naughty little 
boy. Two of my favorites are Gutei's (?) One-finger Zen and the one about the 
dried shit stick.
  It seems to me like a lot (but of course not all) of the "puzzlement" with 
koans comes from their being so bare bones and lacking in context and setting. 
For instance,does anyone know which finger it was that old Gutei or Wutei or 
whatever his name was would hold up in answer to the question? I just can't 
stop HOPING that it was the middle finger and that Chinese culture has much the 
same associations with it as most of us westerners do.
  I laugh myself sick imaging him flippin the bird to that poor guy whose 
finger he just whacked off or doing the same to some hot shot monk asking him 
some convoluted intellectual question REEKING of Zen.
  2. Apropos the dearth of context in koans relates to the one about the dried 
shit stick. I can't place it anywhere but the Monastery toilets. Knowing how 
hard it is for old people sometimes just to be REGULAR, here's some poor old 
Zen master who finally gets away from all the business of running the place and 
seems to at last be able to just take a nice long dump in peace when in walks 
some hot shot know-it-all monk who just HAS TO importune the poor guy with some 
ridiculously obvious question like "What is Buddha?"
  Actually, I like to think how kind the old guy was for pointing out to 
hot-shot the importance of caring and helpfulness by giving him the last dried 
shit stick. Taking care of business is so much more important than deep 
meaningtful intellectual discussions.

mike brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
            Middle finger
  points to the moon,
This farty xmas nite.
  Happy Xmas 
      From: "Bill Smart" <What stinks? My finger!>

Fingered thoughts in mind 
stinky odors permeate zen forum 
sniff the cushion again

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