Seeing Tozan

I was reading about a Zen master, Tozan — a very famous Zen master.

The story says that the Gods wanted to see him, but they couldn’t because he was just an emptiness.

They would enter into him from this side and that, they would pass through him, but he was nowhere to be found. He was a nowhere-ness, a- nothingness… so empty of himself that they could not see him.

They were very curious to see a man who had become empty, so they played a trick.

They went to the kitchen as Tozan was coming from his morning walk and took a few handfuls of rice and wheat and threw it on his path.

In a Zen monastery that is almost a sin because it is very disrespectful to rice and wheat. Everything should be respected because everything is divine.

It is a respect for everything. Everything that exists and has existed, is divine and should be respected.

So in a Zen monastery nothing is wasted; one should be careful, and alert.

They played this trick and threw on his path a few handfuls of rice and wheat.

When Tozan came he could not believe it — that any disciple could do that. Who could do it? Who could be so careless and disrespectful?

This idea arose in him, and suddenly a self was there and the Gods could see him. The emptiness was no more empty.

Suddenly an idea had crystallised; an attitude, a mind had come. For a moment a cloud appeared in the blue sky and the Gods could see this man, Tozan.

Then the cloud disappeared because the idea disappeared. I like the story very much.

Whenever there is an idea, you are, and then a cloud arises. And there is not only one cloud. There are so many ideas in you, millions of clouds which continuously haunt you, covering you in layers and layers of cloud. Your inner sky is completely hidden. You can’t even have a glimpse of it.

Even a small idea like ‘Who has been so careless?’ — it was nothing special, nothing much to worry about. It was just a curious ‘Who has been so careless?’ but it was enough!

If you see the morning sun and you say ‘How beautiful’ — enough! It is just a small fragment but it creates an inner pressure in you, and that’s why you immediately want to say to somebody ‘Look, how beautiful the morning is!’

That is a release. The pressure has been inside and when you talk it is catharted; you release it. You feel good, you have said it. If you cannot find anybody, it will haunt you more.

Our mind is continuously overflooded with ideas, emotions, sentiments.

By and by relax, be empty. Just go as an emptiness.

Quote :Beloved of My Heart

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