Approach the master sitting on his seat. The fool will seek answers having slept through the lesson but the wise student will bow silently and retreat having learned all there is and knowing absolutely nothing.
A reflection on Case 44 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (The True Dharma Mind)
S: What are you doing, for heaven sake? H: Isn’t it obvious, I’m searching for Nirvana, for enlightenment. S: You silly fool, it’s right behind you! H: (turning suddenly) It is not, I would certainly see it. S: You might think so, but it is still right behind you! H: But why, tell me, can’t I see it? S: Because you’re looking for it always peering outward, but if you look inward behind your eyes, you won’t be able to miss it.
The snow began falling this morning the dry, almost greasy snow that defies the plows running up and down the streets, too shallow for the salters to begin. Cars slide to a stop, or nearly so, at the intersection, and you know it is merely a matter of time before two will simultaneously, and there will be a loud crunch of metal, gesticulating of hands, He would stay and watch, as he does auto racing, but the temperature has breached single digits, the wind has taken up winter’s challenge, and he knows only a fool would venture or stay out in this.
You may seek to follow the path of the dove, for a fool knows many roads. You may wrap yourself in fine linen, an infant wears only his skin and knows this moment is already gone.
Think long before you speak of how to walk along the path, of where it leads. The baby says nothing, will not speak of where he has been, where he is going, for to him there is only here, and silence is descriptive enough.