Friday, January 11, 2008

No more moon in the water

The ads on top of the blog here were all about meditation today. I don't think I've written anything about meditation... perhaps I did and don't remember it but that wouldn't make much sense since I've tried meditation as a relaxation technique and I fail utterly at it, so what would I have to write about? A more reasonable explanation is that Google's ad picking mechanism is utterly irrational.

However, I did pick up a book of Zen koans from the library the other day, and I've been reading it. Needless to say, I don't understand it. Here is a koan that I don't understand:

No Water, No Moon
When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time. At last one moonlit might she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!
In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

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