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.

 

Jim

 

From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of [EMAIL 
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Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 1:27 AM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
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'.

...Bill!

P.S. Yes, Al - I am posting a response to my own post just to DRIVE YOU 
CRAZY(ier)! 

 

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