Thursday, April 16, 2009

"emptiness in my hand"

The Nun Chiyono studied for years but was unable to find enlightenment. One moonlit night she was carrying an old pail, filled with water. She was watching the full moon reflected in this water, when the bamboo strip that held the pailstaves broke. The pail fell apart; the water rushed out; the moon's reflection disappeared. And Chiyono found enlightenment. She wrote this verse:

This way and that way
I tried to keep the pail together
Hoping the weak bamboo
Would never break

Suddenly the bottom fell out:
No more water:
No more moon in the water:

Emptiness in my hand!

Note: This is taken from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki

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