• zen stories

    and other quirks of mind
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Author's comment

  • I wrote this on a sunny morning on the island of Gozo while smoking a fine Cuban cigar (Partagas Series D nr.4 for all you aficionado's out there). It is loosely based on the 12th koan of The Gateless Gate. The story differentiates between what we think is real and what is truly real. What we feel, taste, smell and think seems real for as long as we decide to identify with what we feel, taste, smell and think. Stop identifying and you'll experience something else entirely. Why? Read on....
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Language - Taal - Lingua

Calling myself master

Smoking a cigar in the morning sun
The taste of dark coffee
Nuts, chocolate spice
And the tingle of tobacco

White clouds
Crawling through the cracked passageways
Of tightly packed leaves
To explode
Within the confines of my mouth

A mist emerges from between my lips
And is snatched away by the racing wind
The voice of the master
Calling me with silent exhalations

His words escape my lips
Keeping me
From being engulfed
By dark shades and foreign dust

Glowing ashes
A doorway connecting that to this
I smile
Realizing that I have no need for it

© JH, Spright-Art


  • Zuigan called out to himself every day: "Master." Then he answered himself: "Yes, sir." And after that he added: "Become sober." Again he answered: "Yes, sir." "And after that," he continued, "do not be deceived by others." "Yes, sir; yes, sir," he answered.
    By Ekai, called Mumon "Zuigan calls himself Master", from the Gateless Gate, chapter 12. Translation by Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps
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Foreign Dust

  • Foreign dust is an often used metaphor for false thinking. "In a clear sky, when the sun rises and sunlight enters (the house) through an opening, the dust is seen moving in the ray of light whereas the empty space is unmoving." Just like our ego, the dust rises and falls. Without ever inconveniencing the void!
    Quote from Lu K'uan Yü
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