Thank you

After a long and arduous journey a young Japanese man arrived deep in a forest where the teacher of his choice was living in a small house he had made. When the student arrived, the teacher was sweeping up fallen leaves.  Greeting his master, the young man received no greeting in return.  And to all his questions, there were no replies.  Realizing there was nothing he could do to get the teacher’s attention, the student went to another part of the same forest and built himself a house.  Years later, when he was sweeping up fallen leaves, he was enlightened.  He dropped everything, ran through the forest to his teacher, and said, “Thank you.”

– John Cage sharing an old Zen story in his book Silence


14 thoughts on “Thank you

  1. I am not sure whether I truly get this one. Is the message ‘silence is golden’ OR ‘true ZEN means switching off from everything even human contact’ OR ‘even in the sublime state of peace, one still has to sweep up fallen leaves’?

  2. Sometimes the spirit of enlightenment comes to those who are contemplative and not from an external source. We all have those ‘ah hah’ moments when life gains that clarity

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