Zen and the art of not finishing stuff

Satori is the spiritual goal of Zen Buddhism. (in Chinese: wu.) Satori roughly translates into individual Enlightenment, or a flash of sudden awareness. Satori is as well an intuitive experience. A brief experience of Enlightenment is sometimes called Kensho. 

I hate Zen, you know?  Like, all that satori stuff, those little anecdotes and riddles that lead to enlightenment.  I don’t buy that thing.  They should tell a long story for guys like me, you know, stories with a beginning, middle and end.  And then, if you still don’t get it, they should just tell you what it means.  That’s what it was like at my Sunday school, man.  No ambiguity, you know.

But those Zen people – it’s all fucking ambiguity!  OK try this out; see if this brings you closer to the meaning of life:

“A man is being chased by a lion.  He falls over a cliff but as he falls he grabs hold of a root sticking out from the cliff face.  As he looks up he sees the lion waiting for him to come back so he can devour him.  He looks down and sees the earth thousands of feet below him.  Then, he notices a single red flower clinging to the wall of the mountain.”

Now that is the START of a good story; that is not THE story!  That story is not finished, man.  Where I come from that is the story you tell when you are really drunk and can’t remember how it ends.  That is the kind of story you tell when you are really OLD!  My grandmother told lots of those stories.  She’d say, “Your cousin, Eric, he bought a chainsaw once.  Locked it in the shed one Christmas.”  And she told that story over and over and no-one said, “Fuck, Gran, I think I just glimpsed Nirvana.”  Actually no one even visited her by that time but you get what I mean.

I don’t know why but it just shits me.  It’s lazy, isn’t it, not taking the time to finish a good story and just when it was getting interesting.

Like the time this dwarf in a red Volkswagen parks on my lawn and starts making love to my hand painted stone Aborigine statue.  Angry, I go outside ready to kick the little bastard to kingdom come.  Then, looking up, I notice this feather floating out of the gum tree.



Filed under humour, life, Religion, zen

4 responses to “Zen and the art of not finishing stuff

  1. livingtowrite

    LMAO! Yeah, that’s great… I’m having trouble with understanding it too… and you know, the zen buddhism stories are very similar to the ancient egyptian stories/ancient egyptian mythology or religion, whatever you want to call it… it’s one freaking line! Like, “And Osiris and blah blah did blah blah blah.”

  2. The only thing worse than an interesting story cut off is a long story told that is duller than mud. Perhaps that is the Kensho in Zen- Buddhist stories- the brief and sudden realisation that this story is going nowhere and will be dull as hell if continued…


  3. nav

    Under the flower is growing a single stawberry. He grasps the berry and shoves it into his mouth. Oh how sweet it tastes.

    That is the ending.

  4. Rick

    Wow – Holden Caulfield is back! Where have you been?

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