I enjoyed the story and I understand the zen point. In different times, we
might have alternately have said that the monk was being humble, because his
acts were those he would have expected any good person to perform, not those of
a hero. He was a monk.
If he had been a Celtic warrior, he would have stood up and proclaimed each act
with detail in order to receive the champion’s share, because that is what is
expected of the warrior.
From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of [EMAIL
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 1:27 AM
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam] RE: [Zen] Re: Zen and Accountability
In a recent post I wrote:
>(CAVEAT: I'll use the terms 'right and wrong' in this post,
>but in actuality these concepts are maya.)
>The short answer to that question is 'you already know'.
>You already know what to do in any situation - this is your Buddha Nature.
I drew a very subtle distinction between 'right and wrong' and 'what to do'.
Since Margie recently very successfully explained a point of hers by reciting a
story, I will follow her lead:
One day a zen monk was travelling between monasteries.
Soon after starting his journey he passed near a river where her heard a lot
yelling. Several people were gathered around the lake calling for help. Their
young daughter had slipped off the bank and was floundering in the water about
10 feet from shore. The river current was pulling her downstream. None of the
other people could swim so they could not save her. The monk immediately took
off his robes, dove into the water and pulled out the drowning girl. Everyone
thanked him profusely and offered him money and alms in thanks. He politely
declined them, dried himself off and continued on his way.
About noon he passed a small village where he saw smoke billowing from a large
house. The townspeople were running around in circles trying to find enough
water to put out the flames. One woman was crying and pleading for someone to
save her son who was trapped in the burning house. The monk without hesitating
ran into the burning building and up the stairs inside. He found the child
passed out on the floor and just barely made his way down the stairs again and
out of the house, receiving some minor burns on the way. The woman was very
happy and in thanks offered him much gold and riches, and to buy him a fine new
robe to replace his singed and dirty one. He declined and only accepted some
water and some food for his journey.
When he arrived at the other monastery late that night the Master there asked
him, "You're very late! What happened on your journey?"
The monk replied, "Nothing special."
The monk replied 'nothing special' because every act he did, every step he
made, every breath he took was nothing special. He did what he did because was
what he needed to do in the particular situation. None of the acts were 'good
or bad'. They were just acts, just what he does, just a reflection of him
moving through the countryside - nothing special'.
P.S. Yes, Al - I am posting a response to my own post just to DRIVE YOU