Monday, February 6, 2012

Mu: Do We Really Need Complexity to Be Happy?

I was reading Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, which rarely references itself, and came across an anecdote referencing the Gateless Gate's first koan. It goes something like this: Does a dog have Buddha nature? The answer given is Mu (no-thing). In the anecdote a man is given this one paradox and thinks about it for two years. In this way, he becomes enlightened. Really? He didn't need a doctoral thesis? He didn't need five hundred retreats with Tolle or whatever puckish German fellow replaces him? Just one single paradox, and a great deal of thought. Here in Maine we momentarily pause for rest. They are called snow days, or ice days, or "the weathermen panicked and we cancelled even though there isn't any snow" days. But the rest of the country just keeps building speed. We're hamsters on a wheel that's accelerating down a hill to nowhere.

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