Category Archives: Zen fables

Zentraveler on Joshu’s Dog!



A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?’
Joshu answered: `Mu.’ [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing’ or `Nay’.]

Mumon’s comment:s To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.

Has a dog Buddha-nature? This is the most serious question of all. If you say yes or no, You lose your own Buddha-nature. Research Credits:

So there you have it, you must be very careful how you answer a koan or you could end up as the neighborhood dog.

QUOTE: “Life is to be experienced in totality. Try not to blame others like spouse, parents, friends, fellow beings or situations for any suffering. .. Never allow your vibe to go to a lower level. This way you will attract more and more positive circumstances in your life.” ― Sakshi Chetana, Laughing Buddha

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:What is Buddha-Nature? “I would define Buddha nature as the awareness which all sentient beings have access to. It is the background, if you will, of all things that arise out of the unmanifest world. If one were to think of it as a painting, it would be the canvas. You can’t NOT have Buddha nature. It is simply consciousness, awareness. It is not a thought, not a thing, but rather the witness to all these things. It is what gave rise to the manifest world. You can think of it as the vast intrinsic open space, or freedom, which all things rise out of. It is without even my awareness of it. It is pure consciousness, the true Self.” This quote is from Ronin/

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Grasshoppers: Develop a Buddha-Nature Grasshopper and maybe you won’t spend your next life as an insect.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Why not learn and develop Buddha-Nature. The only thing you have to lose is yourself… and if you are really good at this, why not lose your ego along the path somewhere.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on Zen Holy Week!

Zen Holy Week

“In Christianity, Holy Week is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. It does not include Easter Sunday.”After Holy Week, comes the glorious day on Sunday…Easter. Christ is Risen!

Bantayan Island Holy Week

“Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of His Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter.”

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Regardless of your religious affiliations this is a great time to reflect and enjoy the now! A good question might be what is this Zen stuff all about anyway? A simplistic answer would be to go with the flow of life and try to make things less complicated and be in the now.

A good definition of Zazen (a form of zen) is just be! Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of Zazen is just sitting, “opening the hand of thought”, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but gives you the framework you need to simplify your life and get in the now. We all have pasts that can haunt us or taunt us if we let it! This is the best time in your life to forgive and forget and get on with your life by trying to act more like Mother Teresa, who believed it is YOUR responsibility to help make this a better world by eliminating poverty and sickness.

The human population has been blessed with great brains and has every opportunity in the world to use imagination and invention to take us to a higher level of consciousness… which helps the world overall. We have reached the crucial turning point, where we have behaved like conquistadors, vikings, warmongers… ravaging and profiteering from our destructive behavior. We have become polluters,plastic waste distributors, and have destroyed vast areas of our forests and oceans and last but not least, but still on the drawing board…the total annihilation of the world population through nuclear wars and aggressive self-destructive behavior.

We should be in a point in this life where we are sharing our modern technology along with spiritual teachings so we all can get back on track and start living in a better world. The old game didn’t work and its time to take action now… each person doing what they can do to elevate our state of consciousness… evolving us forward in “A New Earth” movement, as is so eloquently written by the modern-day spiritual architect Eckhart Tolle.

Use the Zen Holy Week to enjoy what you like and reflect on how to help our society by practicing simple Zen.

Light your own Zen Candle

We took this opportunity to Zentravel in the Camotes Island province in the Philippines and experience Holy Week down-under, where we toured several caves and saw religious images carved out of stone by nature. We crawled through several tight cave crevices and experienced a pool of pure spring water… large enough to swim in. Being this removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life… it was easy to feel in the moment and yet reflect on our religious past.

Holy Cave Camotes Island

So there you have it! Use this time frame around the traditional Holyweek to go one step beyond and forgive all of your enemies and past screw-ups and move directly into the now… giving just one kind word or deed to everyone you know and soon the roller coaster of destruction stops mid-air reverses directions and we head toward a better world.

This reversal all started with a simple Zen thought! YOU!

Zen Holy Week can be so personal, yet offers a great opportunity to slow down and ask the question what is life all about anyway? When you have that part figured out… you are on your way to a greater YOU and a greater world.

QUOTE: “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” —Lao Tzu

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Holy Week, i.e. the series of pre-Easter festivities commemorating various events of the final days of Christ’s life, probably developed in 4th century Jerusalem, possibly beginning with St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Christians from all over the world would take pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and the Church of Jerusalem provided rites and worship dedicated to reenacting the final events of Christ’s life. The first account we have of such rites is the diary of the pilgrimage of Egeria to Jerusalem around AD 381. Gradually many of these customs and holy days spread to the wider Christian world.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Religious cards and icons.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:You can freely practice all religions without hiding behind warfare and terrorism to get your own way! Why not work toward a better world for all mankind.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under Blogging, Easter Sunday, Good Friday, holy week Philippines, Jesus Christ Resurrection, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Uncategorized, Zazen, Zen fables, Zen holy week

Zentraveler on the Three Wise Monkeys!

Three Wise Monkeys

We have all grew up hearing the stories about the Three Wise Monkeys, but did you know you can trace their story back to the Italian Mafia, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Japanese, Chinese and possibly even earlier dating to the 17th century.

Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.

There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. In the Western world the phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance.
In English, the monkeys’ names are often given as Mizaru, Mikazaru, and Mazaru but the last two names were corrupted from the Japanese originals.

Kōshin scroll with the three monkeys. The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Toshogu Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle. There are a total of 8 panels, and the iconic Three Wise Monkeys picture comes from panel 2. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period). It has been suggested that the figures represent the three dogmas of the so-called middle school of the sect.

In Chinese, a similar phrase exists in the Analects of Confucius from 2nd to 4th century BCE: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety” It may be that this phrase was shortened and simplified after it was brought into Japan. It is through the Kōshin rite of folk religion that the most significant examples are presented. The Kōshin belief or practice is a Japanese folk religion with Chinese Taoism origins and ancient Shinto influence. It was founded by Tendai Buddhist monks in the late 10th century. A considerable number of stone monuments can be found all over the eastern part of Japan around Tokyo. During the later part of the Muromachi period, it was customary to display stone pillars depicting the three monkeys during the observance of Kōshin.

Though the teaching had nothing to do with monkeys, the concept of the three monkeys originated from a simple play on words. The saying in Japanese is “mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru” literally “don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak”.

It is also possible that the three monkeys came from a more central root than a simple play on words. The shrine at Nikko is a Shinto shrine, and the monkey is an extremely important being in the Shinto religion. The monkey is believed to be the messenger of the Hie Shinto shrines, which also have connections with Tendai Buddhism. There are even important festivals that are celebrated during the year of the monkey (occurring every twelve years) and a special festival is celebrated every sixteenth year of the Kōshin.

“The Three Mystic Apes” (Sambiki Saru) were described as “the attendants of Saruta Hito no Mikoto or Kōshin, the God of the Roads”. The Kōshin festival was held on the 60th day of the calendar. It has been suggested that during the Kōshin festival, according to old beliefs, one’s bad deeds might be reported to heaven “unless avoidance actions were taken….” It has been theorized that the three Mystic Apes, Not Seeing, Hearing, or Speaking, may have been the “things that one has done wrong in the last 59 days.”

According to other accounts, the monkeys caused the Sanshi and Ten-Tei not to see, say or hear the bad deeds of a person. The Sanshi are three worms living in everyone’s body. The Sanshi keep track of the good deeds and particularly the bad deeds of the person they inhabit. Every 60 days, on the night called Kōshin-Machi , if the person sleeps, the Sanshi will leave the body and go to Ten-Tei , the Heavenly God, to report about the deeds of that person. Ten-Tei will then decide to punish bad people, making them ill, shortening their time alive, and in extreme cases putting an end to their lives. Those believers of Kōshin who have reason to fear will try to stay awake during Kōshin nights. This is the only way to prevent the Sanshi from leaving their body and reporting to Ten-Tei.

In Japan the proverb is simply regarded as a Japanese Golden Rule. Some simply take the proverb as a reminder not to be snoopy, nosy and gossipy. Early associations of the three monkeys with the fearsome six-armed deity Vajrakilaya link the proverb to the teaching of Buddhism that if we do not hear, see or talk evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil. This may be considered similar to the English proverb “Speak of the Devil – and the devil appears.”

Others believe the message is that a person who is not exposed to evil (through sight or sound) will not reflect that evil in their own speech and actions.

Today “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is commonly used to describe someone who doesn’t want to be involved in a situation, or someone willfully turning a blind eye to the immorality of an act in which they are involved. The Italian version, “Non vedo, non sento, non parlo” (I see nothing, I hear nothing, I say nothing), expresses the Omertà, a code of silence enforced by criminal organizations like the Mafia, ‘Ndrangheta, and Camorra.

In many interpretations it can be seen as a way to avoid spreading evil. Do not listen to evil things so they do not influence you. Do not read things that are evil or look upon evil things so they do not influence you, and lastly do not repeat verbally evil things so they cannot be spread about.
Source:adapted from

So there you have it! See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil may be very wise or not…you be the judge! If we lived by the golden rule we wouldn’t have any evil and we would all be wise.

QUOTE:A wise monkey never monkeys with another monkeys monkey!

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Three Wise Monkeys is similar with Confucius’s teaching of “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.”

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Monkeys! Their habitat is being eroded as we speak and we cannot just sit back and watch see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, as the monkeys make their way from the jungles into the illegal smuggling trade.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:There are times in a person’s life when it is important to emulate one or all of the three wise monkeys.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on the Boastful Crow and Humble Pie!

Nature's Fables

A flock of swans flew down to a beach where a solitary crow was hopping around. The crow watched them with disdain.
“How gracelessly you fly!” he said to the swans. “All you know is how to flap your wings. Can you glide? Can you somersault in the air? No, that’s beyond you. Let’s have a flying competition. I’ll show you what flying really is!”
One of the swans, a young, sturdy male, took up the challenge, whereupon the crow flew up and began to display his flying prowess. He flew in circles, swooped down like an arrow, and performed a variety of acrobatics in the air. Then he flew down, cawing triumphantly.

Now it was the swan’s turn. He launched himself into the air and began flying over the sea. The crow flew after him, making all sorts of derisive comments about his manner of flying. On and on they flew till finally the land was lost to sight. Water stretched endlessly on all sides. The crow’s comments became less and less frequent and finally, stopped altogether. He had begun to tire. Eventually he became so tired that he found it hard to stay in the air. He had to struggle to keep from falling into the water.

The swan, pretending to be unaware of his plight, said, “Why do you keep touching the water, brother? Is that another flying manoeuvre?” “No,” squawked the crow, the fight completely gone out of him. “I’m in trouble… a curse on my boasting! If you do not come to my aid, I’ll drown…”

The swan had pity on him and taking him on his shoulders flew back to the shore. adapted from

So there you have a fable that tells a great story about our players in this life’s journey. Sometimes it is better to eat a humble crow pie than to boast about what you may not know!

QUOTE: ” I became a hermit to free myself from the dust and the dirt of the world, looking for perfection. But I realized that it was impossible without loving the garbage and the dust of the world, even life’s passions.” …Kibong

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The folk tale is the expression of that fanciful heritage spontaneously created in any kind of culture, for the man’s innate needs. At first it was handed down by word of mouth, then it was collected by enthusiasts and scholars, and in the end, it was revised by the individual inspiration of story-tellers and fabulists, who added some elements of personal invention. The exigency of fancy often joins the reality of the environment where the fable was born: so, together with certain natural elements common to the folk creative power (contrast between the good and the bad, the sly and the fool, the tyrant and the victim; a happy ending at the conclusion of a succession of more or less intricate adventures), it is not difficult to find in the types, in the names used, in the outlined customs, the characteristics which mark its country of origin.

The fable (in the Greek language “muzos”, which you can also literally translate with “myth”) has its own evolution in the time, according to the development of the people expressing it. Some famous collections belong to the oriental traditions, which, in that way, handed down warnings rich in ancient wisdom or adventures rich in extraordinary fact, tricks and unexpected events. Other collections, the Greek and Roman ones, show religious elements (the origin of the world or cosmology, the stories of gods, heroes and men), where we can search for the fanciful transfiguration of the struggles of man against nature, of his advance towards his redemption from ignorance and from atavic terrors: these are exactly called “myths”.

With the advance of society it is asserted the need of a different kind of fable, more critical towards man and society itself: so it was born the Aesopic fable which, employing the animals as main characters, intends to represent, by them, well-defined human types: the bully, the insatiable, the sly, the fool, the vain, the arrogant, etc.
This genre of fables is the one which has had the best luck and has produced the greatest number of imitators; in fact, although the progress changes the aspect and organization of society and man’s habit, the human instincts and vices are timeless and, luckily, the exigency of condemning their deceits, passions and faults is kept alive at the same rate.

Aesop’s fable was taken to Rome by Phaedrus who renewed its language and spirit; it revived in the Middle Age in France, when, during the XI century the Aesopic matter was collected by some French authors who worked together to compile the “Roman de Renart” (Romance of the Fox), which tells the fox and wolf’s adventures. In it, with eloquent and acute vein, are told the adventures of the sly fox, which always succeeds, with unpredictable and funny tricks, in making fun of Ysenguin, the wolf. Repost from

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Stories and Fables! They reflect society and become a good teaching tool!

ZENTRAVLER SAYS:Use fables and stories to teach important moralistic values!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler takes on the persona of Chinese Monkey-King!

Chinese Monkey King

We are all actors just playing out our roles. We were told since we were young we can be anything we want to be …that’s why I decided to try out for the role of Chinese Monkey King. I knew I wouldn’t have much competition and maybe I have finally found my niche after all these years. A brilliant poet, and businessman once said: “keep em guessing.” So with no further adieu I shall begin my transformation into the Chinese Monkey-King!.

Being human can really be a drag. I slowly shed my human suit as a snake sheds his skin and I begin to see unlimited possibilities. So what if they call me an animal …that’s what I am and I really like it! I have senses that are 1000 times more powerful than a mere human and I can walk around, run, lie down, and go for a swim anytime I want. I never pay taxes, I eat anytime I want, and my house costs nothing! I do not tie myself down with silly looking electronics… since I am universerally connected on a much higher level than earthings will ever be.

I especially like the part of surprise… where I run swiftly along the river banks and scare the hell out of anyone who gets in my way! I like the part where I can enter into as many dimensions as I want simply by using my pure natural instinct of carnal knowledge. I do not need a map, a compass, gps, loran, or high tech military laser beams. I have highly developed expert navigational skills… which are connected to a much higher level than a humanoid could ever imagine.

I dream in Technicolor and easily spiral through and beyond the black hole into mathamatical rolling universes that make earth look like a mudpie at best. I am glad that I am the animal that I am and invite anyone who would like to join my endeavors to log in from time to time just to see what Zentravelers up to.

After reviewing the literature of The Chinese Monkey King it soon became evident that some of the very things the classic Chinese Monkey King was into were catapulting in warp speed in my nightly dream patterns

One of the most famous characters in classical Chinese literature is the Monkey King, the main character of the epic novel Journey to the West. In China, the Monkey King is known as Sun Wukong and is famed for his great strength.

What makes the Monkey King interesting, though, is that he’s not a one-sided hero. What makes him one of the most remarkable characters in the Chinese cultural tradition is that he struggled against his own trickster nature before finding salvation, perfectly reflecting the human condition.

The Monkey King’s mischievous nature could perhaps be traced from the fact that he was born from a mythical stone formed from the the primal forces of chaos. With chaos as a parent, who can blame him for displaying a stubborn streak?

The stone was located on Huaguo Shan – mountain of flowers and fruit – where a lot of demons and monkeys lived. The Monkey King joined a clan of monkeys and became their king after he found them a new home behind a large waterfall. In a gesture totally in line with his character, the Monkey King called himself Mei Houwang, or the “handsome monkey king.”

Soon, though, reigning over his clan proved insufficient for our adventurous hero. He decided that he wanted to become immortal and left his home to travel to civilized lands. In his travels, he learned human speech and manners. Eventually, he became the disciple of the Buddhist Patriarch Bodhi.

Bodhi was reluctant to take the Monkey King as a disciple at first because, well, he was a monkey after all. But the Monkey King impressed him with his determination. It was actually Bodhi who gave him the name Sun Wukong, which refers to his origins as a monkey (Sun); Wukong means “aware of emptiness.”

”The Monkey King soon became one of Bodhi’s favorite disciples. Bodhi’s teachings helped the Monkey King learn powerful magic such as shapeshifting – which enabled him to transform into people and objects – and cloud-traveling – which allowed him to cover as much as 54,000 km in a single somersault. Even the hair on his body possessed magic powers, allowing him to transform each of the 84,000 strands into an inanimate object or weapon. He could even turn them into his clones!

His magical skills led him to start boasting to the other disciples, which in turn caused Bodhi to cast him out as a disciple.

Undeterred, the Monkey King went back to his mountain home where he established himself as one of the most powerful demons. Deciding that a demon of his might and influence needed a weapon, the Monkey King traveled to the undersea palace of Dragon King of the East Sea. There, he acquired the Ruyi Jingu Bang, an iron rod that weighs over 7.5 metric tons.

The rod, legend says, was first used by Yu the Great, the legendary founder of the Xia dynasty, to measure the oceans. Yu, one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Deities, later used it as the “Pillar that pacified the oceans.” Not surprisingly, he is the mythological ruler credited with teaching the Chinese about flood control.

The Ruyi Jingu Bang was such a powerful weapon that it could change size, multiply itself and fight however its master wanted. When the Monkey King first approached it, the pillar started to glow, signifying that its rightful master had arrived.

The Monkey King had found his weapon and with it tucked in his ear – he shrinks the rod to the size of a sewing needle when he’s not using it – he had the whole of creation to conquer.

The Chinese Monkey King is an indeed rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist,being able to transform himself into seventy-two different images such as a tree, a bird, a beast of prey or a bug as small as a mosquito so as to sneak into an enemy’s belly to fight him inside or out. Using clouds as a vehicle he can travel 180,000 miles a single somersault and a huge iron bar that supposedly serves as ballast of the seas and can expand or shrink at its owner’s command as his favorite weapon in his later feats. He claims to be the king in defiance of the only authority over heaven, the seas, the earth and the subterranean world.—china-on-sitecom

So there you have it..if you want a new persona simply do some research and begin to transform yourself and watch the magic unfold before your eyes,

QUOTE:”Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Einstein

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Chinese Monkey King is a god in Chinese Mythology!

THINGS YOU MAY NOT WANT TO SAVE: Poverty! Get involved with solar energy and eradicate poverty!

ZENTRAVELER:Solar Energy is the key to our earthy future—you can take that info to the bank! Helping relieve poverty through the provision of solar energy. Why not join the fight by logging onto Solar Energy Charity and dont forget to bring your checkbook or your brain…we need to get serious about this very important issue the time clock is running!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on Blind Men and an Elephant!

Blindmen trying to describe Elephant

There are quite a few versions to this story originating from India about the blind men and an elephant. As a test to reach for the ultimate truth.

A Jain version of the story says that six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body.

The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

A wise man explains to them:

“All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.”

This resolves the conflict, and is used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony with people who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different ways.

So there you have it everyone since the beginning of time defends their religion and will fight to the death if their religion is challenged, but this very simple fable shows how you can be different and still reach harmony.

QUOTE: “There is a saying that different religions are like blind men trying to describe an elephant.”

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Look at You! Along with dolphins, apes, and humans, elephants are among the only animals known to recognize their reflections in a mirror. ~source: Scientific American online

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Elephants! Unless we act quickly we are losing one of the greatest species on this earth at warp speed. Poachers still illegally kill these magnificent animals for their ivory… farmers, homesteaders and loggers are burn slashing their natural habitat at an alarming rate. What can you do? Get involved by volunteering with one of the many agencies to save the elephant or go to your checkbook and write a check! Extinction is forever!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized, Zen fables

Zentraveler on animal tails and such!

What keeps us interested in the animal world! By George me thinks I got it …we are animals Homo Sapiens to be scientifically correct. Enclosed is a transript of an unknown zen creature who may be smarter than you think!

A Singular Animal with or without fur… you be the judge!

A woodcutter was hard at work in the remote mountains when a strange animal appeared. He had never seen an animal like it before.

— Ah, said the animal, you have never seen anything like me before.

The woodcutter was very surprised to hear the animal speak.

— And you are astonished that I can speak…..

The woodcutter was also surprised that the beast knew his thoughts.

— And that I know what you are thinking, continued the animal.

Looking at the animal, the woodcutter wanted to catch it and take it back home.

— So, you want to catch me alive, do you?

If not that, maybe he could give it one blow with his axe and then carry it home.

— And now you want to kill me, said the animal.

The woodcutter realised that he could do nothing at all, since the beast always knew what he was thinking of doing. So, he went back to work, determined to ignore the animal.

— And now, it said, you abandon me.

Work as he might, the woodcutter found himself thinking of the animal standing there. The beast would then make an appropriate comment. He wished it would go away and was then told that he was wishing it would go away.

The animal apparently did not wish to go away. It stood there, near him, and read all of his thoughts. Nor did it seem well intentioned.

Finally, not knowing what else to do, the woodcutter resignedly took up his axe again, determined to pay no more attention to this singular animal, and began single-mindedly cutting the trees.

While he was so doing, with no thought in his head except the axe and the tree, the head of the axe flew off the handle and struck the animal dead.

From Zen Inkinlgs, by Donald Richie, an excellent book.

QUOTE: “We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing.

When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”
….Alan Watts

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Shedding! Your pet isn’t the only one in the house with a shedding problem. Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. That works out to about 1.5 pounds each year, so the average person will lose around 105 pounds of skin by age 70.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Animals. They have millions of years of history and are smarter than you think!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: So you think you are an animal…maybe you are!!!!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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