(AKA a two Ha! Morning)
This morning before my meditation--coffee in hand, a bit of snow on the ground--I was standing at the back window and listening to the finches and sparrows at the bird feeder. Also I was scanning through Zen Flesh, Zen Bones in search of a story I’ve been thinking about. I wanted to make a blog entry for our blogspot. That’s what I do on Thursday or Friday mornings. It’s my pleasure. I didn’t find the story. Instead I happened on the story which concludes the book, the story which answers in one way the question, What is Zen? It's a story about fishes. "Ha! That’s a cool story," I thought. "I’ll put that in the blog." I finished up my coffee and went to sit. I lit the candle and the incense and, in reciting the San Ge Rai Mon, the Three Refuges, I was startled awake by the first:
I take refuge in the Buddha—together with all beings, may I understand through my body this cosmic life leading to the incommensurate awakened mind."Ha! It's like the story of the fishes, now I see." Then I sat on my zafu and stared at the wall. The wall hadn’t changed a bit. So what is Zen? Here’s how the story about swimming with the fishes explains it—
Inayat Khan tells a Hindu story of a fish who went to a queen fish and asked: “I have always heard about the sea, but what is this sea? Where is it?
The queen fish explained: “You live, move, and have your being in the sea. The sea is within you and without you, and you are made of the sea, and you will end in the sea. The sea surrounds you as your own being.”