Editorial

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tigers and Mice and Strawberries... Oh My!

Tigers and Mice
and Strawberries...

Oh My!

A Zen Tale
One day
while walking through the wilderness
a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger.
He ran
but soon came to the edge of a high cliff.
Desperate to save himself,
he climbed down a vine
and dangled over the fatal precipice
As he hung there,
two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff
and began gnawing on the vine.
Suddenly,
he noticed on the vine
a plump wild strawberry.

He plucked it
and popped it in his mouth.
It was incredibly delicious!


This Zen tale's ending
has been changed from the original
for a Western audience.
So now, it is also a bit of a koan

The question is...

Is this a tale of
a wise person
or
a foolish one?
By being present in the moment
and savoring the strawberry
was he being mindful and wise?
Or

by focusing on the strawberry,
was he distracted and foolish?

Is there another  answer?
Enjoy
© 2020 MU-Peter Shimon

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Home: This Must Be the Place

Home

This Must Be the Place
To be to #FlattenTheCurve
#STAYATHOME

"Home, is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place"


David Byrne
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
Talking Heads
Enjoy
© 2020 MU-Peter Shimon

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Value of Your Life

The Value
of Your Life
(and others)
Little Big Man 
Chief Dan George Gratitude Speech
One day a son goes to his father and asks
"Father, what is the value of my life?"
The father gives him a stone and says
"If you want to know the value of your life, take this stone to the market.
If anyone asks the price...
Don't say a word, simply raise up 2 fingers.
1
The boy does as his father says
and goes to the market.

He wanders around and then suddenly,
an old woman approaches him and says
"How much is this stone?"
The boy doesn't say a word
but raises 2 fingers.
The woman says "2 dollars? I'll take it!"

The son is surprised
and runs back to his father saying
"Father,
there was an old woman at the market.
She wanted to give me
2 dollars for the stone."
Then the father replies,

"The next place I want you to go
is the museum,
and if anyone asks the price,
don't say a word. Just raise 2 fingers."

So the son takes the stone
and goes to the museum.
After about 20 minutes
a middle aged man approaches the boy.
He says to the boy "Much is this stone?"

The boy doesn't say a word
and raises 2 fingers.
"200 dollars? I'll take it!" says the man.
Surprised again the boy runs home
to his father and says,
"Father, a man at the museum
wanted to buy the stone for 200 dollars."

The father replied, "Ok son,
the last place I want you to take the stone
is a precious stone shop.

Walk inside with the stone
and if anyone asks the price,
don't say a word. Just raise 2 fingers."
1
So the son runs off to the precious stone store.
After finding it and walking inside
he sees an old man behind the counter.

And as the old man sees the stone, he jumps up
and screams "Oh my god!
You have the stone I've been searching for all my life!
What do you want for it? How much is it?"

The boy doesn't say a word and raises up 2 fingers.
"200, 000 dollars? I'll take it!" says the old man
The boy can't believe it.
He jumps up and runs to his father.
"Father, the old man at the precious stone store wanted to give me 200,000 dollars for the stone."

The father said, "You see son?
Do you understand the value of your life?
Life is all about where you place yourself.

You can decide to be a 2 dollar stone
or a 200,000 dollar stone.

There are some people who love you
and for whom you are everything.
And some people
will just use you as a commodity.
For them, you will be worth nothing.

So it is up to you, my son,
to decide the value of your life."
Enjoy
© 2020 MU-Peter Shimon

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Letting Go


 Letting Go
Two traveling monks reached a river
where they met a young woman. 

Wary of the current,
she asked if they could carry her across. 
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One of the monks hesitated,
but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water,
and put her down on the other bank. 
She thanked him and departed.
As the monks continued on their way,
the one was brooding and preoccupied. 
Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.

"Brother,
our spiritual training teaches us
to avoid any contact with women,

but you picked that one up
on your shoulders and carried her!"
1
"Brother,"
the second monk replied,

"I set her down on the other side,
while you are still carrying her."
Enjoy
© 2020 MU-Peter Shimon