Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I've done poems-in-one-go. This is a Zen koan in one go! Let's see what happens.


A young monk, an initiate at the Shin-lao temple, was sitting meditating under his favorite banyan tree when up the path from the Imperial capitol came the great big master of the temple, who had been away journeying for many months, seeking enlightenment amid the lights and noises and general samsara of the big city. The young monk, immersed in his meditations, pretended not to notice as the master went by, head bowed. Soon, the young monk - again without moving his head or even his gaze, really, beneath his half-lowered and seemingly unseeing eyes - saw again the great big master coming up the road from the capitol. A second time, each taking no notice of the other, the master passed the monk by. When some time later, the monk saw the great big master's approach for the third time along the same road, he felt his curiosity piqued. Perhaps this was one of those metaphysical tests, and he was not rising to it. Then again, perhaps the not rising to it was the correct response for this test. There was no way of knowing without asking, so the young monk resolved: "fuck it." As the master approached, the young monk respectfully arose and stood by the road, in an attitude of respectful questioning. The master stopped, head still bowed, and asked "How can I help you my son?"

"Master, three times I have seen you come up the road from the capitol, walking towards the temple. Twice you have passed by, only to reappear coming up the same road again. What does this mean?"

The master paused in thought, seemed to come to some conclusion, and replied. "I have been teaching you a lesson, my child, by leaving the road just around the coming bend, running back through the forest down a meandering byway, and reappearing on the road yonder - just out of sight from where I saw you meditating."

"What does the lesson mean, master?" said the monk, head bowed, eyes narrowed quizzically, gazing down the road.

The master replied wisely, "It is one of those lessons that is impossible to unravel, my son. The benefit comes from meditating upon how impossible it is to figure out what it's supposed to mean."

"GOD DAMN IT AGAIN?!!!" replied the pupil, in exasperation. "IS EVERY FUCKING ZEN LESSON GOING TO BE LIKE THAT?"

"You learn quickly, my child," replied the master.


Resonating Sound said...

I'm cracking up again!

dogimo said...

Now THAT is the response I generally have to a good zen koan. :-D

Glad I'm "doin' it rite"