Friday, August 04, 2006

While I don't want this to become a blog about crap (although, inevitably and without any coaxing, could inexorably become such), there was one last thought before the weekend that I wanted to impart. It comes from a passage I just read in the canonical text of the Zen school I belong to.

And Now, Your Moment of Zen...

Master un Mun: "Dry shit on a stick"
In many old chinese temples, the monks compost human and animal waste together for several weeks before using them as fertilizer in the gardens. The wastes have to compost together for a long time to eliminate toxic poisons. The monks pee and defectate in large buckets placed under wooden benches, and sometime during the day collect the wastes for composting. A long, flat paddle is used to mix the wastes together with ashes and remove them from the buckets. At the end of the day, the stick would be left leaning in the sun near the outhouse to dry. Then one day, the great Zen Master Un Mun had just relieved himself, and was walking out of the privy adjusting his pants. At that moment, a monk approached him and said, "What is Buddha?" While he was being asked this question, the Zen master's eyes simply happened to catch sight of the long shit-stick, leaning against the wall drying in the sun. "Dry shit on a stick!" Un Mun replied, and continued on his way. In that moment, the Zen master's mind was only dry shit on a stick. Dry shit on a stick was his whole mind.
-From The Compass of Zen by Zen Master Seung Sahn
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