Dec 142011

Since my early childhood time, I love the Danish fairy tail “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen. It is one of the best introductory texts to Zen I am aware of.

Looking right into the essence of a human being, in complete ignorance of whatever status, rank, title or other kind of fake cloths the person is believing or believed to wear, this is what we can learn in Zen. One might think a PhD or a 7th Dan in martial arts or a Roshi’s title is of some meaning, and the person holding it might be of a certain importance.

“Kill it!” was Rinzai’s response to any of this, and my (maybe more 21st century human and modest) reaction is “burst into laughter”. Zen is right here right now, the two or three of us. On a seminar day, you come through the door, put off your shoes, walk up the stairs … that’s all, in all it’s beauty and simplicity, nothing more, nothing less.