Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where does a bird spend the night?

When we see a bird, do we know where this bird has been spending the night ?

This is a question specially designed not to have an adequate answer.

Therefore, do not reply by saying: the bird was sleeping in the tree.
It is not an adequate and precise enough answer.
It is an answer to get the question out of the way.

We do not know if that bird actually was sleeping in a tree.
And if it did, we don't know which tree.
And if we know which tree, we don't know what branch.
Because we never see at night birds sleeping in the tree.
In any case, we see many more birds than we see nests in the trees.

So why come up with a question that has no adequate answer?
Because the purpose of the question is not to find an answer.
The purpose of the question is to meditate.

There are moments in the day when we have to wait or are by ourselves.
Time to reflect and think.
The perfect moment to ask yourself: where is a bird spending the night?
Stops you from worrying about paying taxes.
Or to think about the conflict you have with your neighbor.
Or the fear you feel for the visit to the oncologist tomorrow.

The thinking spins around the question and considers different answers without finding an absolute one.
In this way the mind is manipulated and put in a dead end street.
It is being made impotent and powerless.
It loses its ability to dominate and control our feelings and actions.

Ha, ha: we laugh at the thinking because we can be the master of it with asking a very simple question: where is the bird we see spending the night!

In this area where thinking is in a closed circle unable to move anywhere else, relief and even exaltation can be found.
Because one becomes finally free of the constant worrying and the frantic fantasizing in a negative way.

This method is not recently invented.
It is very old and practiced by Zen masters.

Question:
With who do Zen masters sleep at night?







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2 comments:

Dawn Pier said...

Excellent and very humorous post Michel! Thank you.

luvglass said...

A Zen Mistress???