Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wisdom of the Country Cousin

Sometime in the early 1970's, two Buddhist masters met
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of them, Kalu Rinpoche,
was a renowned Tibetan meditation master who had spent
many years in solitary retreat in the remote mountain
caves of Tibet. The other was Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen
master who had recently come to the USA and was
supporting himself by working in a Providence, Rhode Island,
Laundromat, slowly planting the seeds of Zen in the minds
of those coming to wash their clothes.

At this now famous meeting of enlightened minds, Seung
Sahn held up an orange and, in classic Zen dharma combat
fashion, demanded,

“What is this?”
Kalu Rinpoche just looked at him, wonderingly.
Again Master Seung Sahn Asked, “What is this?”
Finally, Rinpoche turned to his translator and asked,
“Don’t they have oranges in Korea?”

(Source of story unknown.)

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