Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Less Zen Than I'd Like

I came across a Zen story yesterday evening that goes something like this:

The conqueror's forces swept into the village to find the inhabitants had fled to the mountains- all except for a single monk- who continued quietly going about his business in the temple. The conqueror stormed up to the monk and roared. "Don't you know who I am? I could cut you in two and not blink an eye."

And the monk smiled and replied," Don't you know who I am? I could stand here and let you cut me in two and not blink an eye."

I think this story must have prompted the dream I had last night in which I annoyed an unstable young man who then turned up at my house with an accomplice and a very large gun. My reaction, I'm sad to say, was somewhat less mellow than the monk's.
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