Certainly you have a valid way of treating someone with a broken heart. But 
when Joshu fell in the snow, he pretended to be physically hurt, and his fellow 
monk just lay down by his side, without any attempt to pull  him out of the 
snow. Suddenly Joshu got up just like nothing had happened. The episode sounds 
like a bad joke to me. However, zen literature is full of bad jokes. For 
instance, the same Joshu put his shoe on his head, which would have saved the 
cat killed by his teacher Nanzen.
Probably Joshu fallen in the snow has another meaning.

--- On Thu, 15/7/10, roloro1557 <> wrote:

From: roloro1557 <>
Subject: [Zen] Re: From The Gateless Gate
Date: Thursday, 15 July, 2010, 4:27 PM


Hi Anthony :-)

I think what the Joshu anecdote is saying is that we truly can't help people in 
the things that really matter~ internal things, "spiritual"
(sorry to have to use that word) things. . . . 

We can certainly give food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, etc. 

And if we can see that someone is suffering because of internal and/or 
spiritual things we can certainly offer our hand. We can certainly say that we 
know what it is like to hurt and be sensitive to that persons hurting~~ we are 
aware of it, we acknowledge it, and we care. 

Perhaps a better way to say it is like this:

If you break your arm, I can splint it and bind it and put your arm in a sling 
and give you aspirin. Most likely you will mend and recover just fine.

If you have a broken heart, emotionally speaking, the pain may be much more 
devastating than the physical pain of a broken arm. With a broken heart, 
however, there is nothing to splint or bind, and aspirin won't help. I can't 
fix that. But what I can do is say, "Yes, I see your heart is broken, I know 
you are hurting because I have been broken-hearted too. I am so very sorry for 
your pain." Being able to say that is our humanity and our compassion, or at 
least a part of humanity and compassion.

I hope this makes sense. Words can be so difficult.

Artie :-)

--- In, Anthony Wu <wu...@...> wrote:
> Artie,
> You are already a bodhisatva. If everybody is, rules and laws are redundent 
> in this world. Unfortunately, the majority is far from it.
> I don't quite understand the Joshu anecdote. Does it mean it suffices just to 
> show compassion, without really pulling someone out of trouble? If that is 
> so, I have trouble agreeing.

Reply via email to