Monday, January 05, 2015

This is the beginning

We are now a few days into this new year, Dear Reader, and I hope we all made it through relatively unscathed.

I, for one, have several case files open (received one while out of town on what one might euphemistically call 'a holiday') so this year is already off to a flying start.

Which is something.

Anyway, on a semi-unrelated note, I was recently thinking of this Zen Buddhist parable. Make of it what you will.

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"

"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.

"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.

"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."

Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."

As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of hell!"

At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

"Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.

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