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Zen training is done with bravery, it is not a decoration for our life...
Harada Roshi

Year of the Mouse 2020


Year of the mouse

Time flies and waits for no one
In his old age, the Buddha left behind this story in the Nirvana Sutra:
A traveler walking over a field when a wild animal was chasing him. The traveler got scared and looked around, looking for a place to hide,yet since he was on open field, there was no tree, no rock, nothing around. For certain this was the end of his life. Suddenly he found an old well next to where he was standing. This was help send by the heavens ! In desperation he climbed down the rope which was hanging into the well. The wild animal looked inside and howled intensely but could not enter the well. Finally the wild animal became quiet.
The traveler though to himself, now I am safe ! At this moment from the depth of the well an unusual noise came. When his eyes got used to the dark, he could see through the dark, and how dreadful ! There were four dragons at the bottom, waiting for the traveler to fall down. The traveler got scared and held onto the rope even tighter.Looking around there were countless poisonous snakes on the walls of the well. As the traveler just wanted to leave this awful well, what is this? Where there two mice, a white and a black one, gnawing on the rope the traveler was holding on? It was just about to snap. At this instant, something cool touched the mouth of the traveler. Wondering what it was, he licked it and it was honey. The traveler licked this sweet honey and forgot about his present situation.
The Buddha is pointing at us by talking about the traveler who forgot about his actual situation. The four dragons are earth, water, fire and wind, the element we are being made up of. The poisonous snakes are the knowledge, judgement and confusion we encounter in our lifetime. The white and black mice are day and night. When we die, we return to the original elements. And because of knowledge, judgement and confusion, our mind is always unsettled. The time we have left is so little. And in this short time we have left, if we do not awaken to the truth, we uselessly wait for death – what a sad existence



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