Thursday, August 15, 2013

Norman Scrimshaw - The Lazy Zen Master and The Demons

Hakuin(1686-1768) , Self portrait

The Lazy Zen Master and The Demons

There was a Zen Master who was very, very lazy.
It was said he was so lazy that for him even to raise one eyelid was
almost more effort than he was willing to muster.

Many of the people who lived in the village near the Zen Master's
home were very critical of this lazy Zen Master. They said he is sooo
lazy. But those whose vision could open deeper, could see that the
Zen Master was in a state of very, very deep relaxation. He had
given up all struggle and effort. Even to say he had given up
anything is inaccurate.

Giving up is a doing that wasn't present. He was in a state of no
struggle, no effort to change himself, to get better, to get more
enlightened, to have more bliss. There was no fight to change the
circumstances of his life. He was much too lazy for any of this.
For him everything was fine as it was. Everything was included and
welcomed into the home of his heart. Indeed as there was no
opposition to the way his life unfolded, there was no division. He
was the unfoldment of life itself.

There was a time demons came to visit him. The lazy Zen Master was
much too lazy to fight demons, so instead he welcomed them into the
home of his heart. The demons were used to being subjected to
vicious attacks in an attempt to exterminate them. Although
suspicious at first, they were grateful to find a refuge. Word got
out among the demons: there is a place of rest where we are welcome.
There is a lazy Zen Master who is not afraid of us, who doesn't want
to kill us, who welcomes us into his home.

Each time a demon came into his heart, the lazy Zen master felt the
pain and alienation, the suffering, the rejection the demon had
experienced. He felt it so strongly it became his own. Indeed, he
recognized that the demon was himself, an aspect of himself that at
one time was rejected from the home of his heart and sent into the
wilderness alone. This had happened in the foolishness of his youth
when he was a warrior and not lazy at all. As each demon came home,
he was often reduced to tears. A mixture of pain and sweetness would
overcome him. Although the lazy Zen Master embraced each demon with
love, he was much too lazy to try to change them. Mysteriously in
the very environment of deep acceptance into this heart and his very
being, the demons' faces began to change and become more and more
beautiful. Their forms changed into a radiance as the demons
recognized themselves as the beauty of the lazy Zen Master's heart.
Demons seldom come to visit the lazy Zen Master anymore, but if they
do, they are always welcome into the home of his heart.

May every event of your life bring you to a closer recognition of the
magnificence that you are.

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