Friday, June 29, 2012

Life Is But a Dream

An elderly Zen Master, feeling that his time would soon come, devised a clever strategy to help his chief disciple achieve Great Awakening. He decided to drive the younger monk out of his complacency through an elaborate plan to "frame" him as a thief in disguise.

In the middle of the night, the Zen master would hide one of his valuable Buddha images and then cry "Thief, thief." The younger monks would all rush in, but there was no thief to be seen. Finally, after the third time, as the chief disciple ran into his room, the old master grabbed him and threw him on the floor, "Here is the thief. At last I have caught you red-handed!" The chief disciple was then denounced to one and all throughout the land.

The accused monk, once a teacher of a huge congregation, now completely disgraced and with nowhere to turn, his ego totally shattered, mulled over this flagrant injustice and at times even contemplated suicide. After several weeks of utter desperation, he suddenly experienced a Great Awakening: life is a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow. This is the very teaching he had been trying to impart to the novices for so many years! He then rushed back to the Master, who upon seeing him, stood up, greeted him warmly and conferred the succession upon him.

Source of the article unknown but greatly appreciated
Image source here