"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Fall Of Nature

they laugh and laugh -
The forest grove,
the many fallen leaves.

A priest
was in charge of the garden
within a famous Zen temple.

He had been given the job
because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. 

Next to the temple
there was another, smaller temple where there lived
a very old Zen master.
One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden.

He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. 
As he worked,
the old master
watched him with interest
from across the wall
that separated the temples.

When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master.

"Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you."

After hesitating,
the priest lifted the old fellow over
and set him down.

Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden,
grabbed it by the trunk,
and shook it.
Leaves showered down
all over the garden.
said the old man,
"you can put me back now."
Why do you think the old Zen master did what he did?
© 2012 MU-Peter Shimon

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