Wednesday, December 11, 2013

simple advice

Why is simple advice ignored? Is it because it is simple and there is some insistence that because I am complex, there needs to be a complex answer? Is it because, against so much empirical evidence to the contrary, I am convinced that there must be a complete and completely consoling explanation? Whatever the answer, it's something of a wonder how simple advice is dismissed.

I once asked my Zen teacher what enlightenment was. In his line of work, it was not a question he hadn't heard before. He was patient.

"It's like explaining the taste of tea," he said. "If you don't know what it tastes like, I can explain as much as I like and you still won't know. But if you drink tea and I drink tea, then we both know what it tastes like."

And not only know, but also set aside the idea that there is something extraordinary about it.

Sure, there is wrestling and tussling, fulminating and extolling, trials and errors, parsing and praising, singing and snoring, but in the end, it's just tea, isn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment