December 1st, 2001
Satori means to lose.
Illusion means to win.
(Sawaki Kodo Roshi)
I think there are few words that express the difference of values between the secular world and the buddhadharma as clearly as these. Usually, we try to loose as few as possible, always in a struggle to win, a struggle that eventually wears us down. But Sawaki Roshi says: "We have to loose as much as possible!"|
When I hear these words, I am reminded of the story of "Happy Hans" in Grimms fairy tales:
Hans trained for years far from home. When he finally completed his training, his teacher sent him home, giving him a big ball of solid gold as a reward for his good service. Carrying the gold on his shoulders, Hans headed home. After walking for a while, he met a man riding on a horse.
"Hey you, that ball looks pretty heavy, uh? Why don't you trade it for this horse. You can ride on horseback and will be home in no while!"
The ball of gold on Hans' shoulders was starting to feel heavy indeed, so he was glad to be offered such a good deal and decided to continue his trip on horseback. Riding for a distance, he met a different man, walking his cow.
"You got a nice horse there, haven't you? But if you trade it for this cow, you'll have milk every day and can make your own butter and cheese, how's that?"
Hans was convinced. He had gotten tired of riding anyway. Walking with the cow, he next ran into a farmer who had a pig.
"A pig has more kids than a cow, and pork tasts good, too. Well, why don't we trade?"
Trading again and again, Hans is happy with every deal he makes. Getting closer to his parent's home, he finally meets a man with a big sharpening stone.
"When you return home, why don't you work sharpening knifes? That way you can make a living!"
Convinced, Hans starts out with a heavy load again. Close to his home, he sees a well close at the road side. Thirsty, he puts down the stone on the edge of the well. It happened when he leant over to get some water: He dropped the sharpening stone into the well! Finally rid of his burdens, he starts to run home.
Happy as a man can be.