Art of Meditation
Zen Short Story
So what is the art of meditation? Can it be understood in simple terms? Let’s find out.
It’s been some time since we visited our favorite Zen monastery and I think checking in with Master Blumise and company will help unveil the simple secret behind the profound science of meditation.
Beauty & the Art of Meditation – A Zen Short Story
A special competition was underway at Nowind Monastery and all the monks were quite eager to do well. Master Blumise had pointed out a very special tree that lived in the woods surrounding the monastery grounds and the monks had been asked to write a story or poem about this tree. The winner would be the one who wrote the best story or poem.
This tree was indeed very special. You see winter had just left the lands, and spring was in the air and this great tree was in full bloom. The uniqueness of the blossoms was that they covered all the colors of the rainbow. There were red, yellow, pink, blue, silver, white, you name the color and you would find a blossom radiating it. It was simply breathtaking.
Over the next few days, the monks all arrived to delight in the company of this great tree. Each with his book and pencil, eager to transcribe into words the impact of the mesmerizing beauty of the wonderful tree. Poems, lavish descriptions and inspired stories were abounding. One monk, though in particular took a peculiar approach to this challenge. It was of course, our wise, senior monk Tara.
Much to the astonishment of the others, Tara would come to keep company of the great tree in the very early morning hours of the day. In fact it was actually even before dawn, when the earth was still enveloped in the darkness of the receding night. Which of course meant that the great beauty of the iridescent, blossoms was not visible.
“What a fool,” they finally concluded. “Her story will not capture the incredible beauty of this tree, surly it will lack inspiration and be empty of feeling and passion.” So saying the monks felt comfortable, that at least the great monk Tara was going to be out of this competition.
Finally the day arrived when the winner was to be announced and all the monks, in heavy anticipation, gathered in the great hall. Master Blumise, in his endlessly unhurried style, floated into the great hall and sat on the speaker’s stand. He looked around the hall till he found his favorite disciple, Tara, and smiling softly, bowed deeply to her . Then got up and started to leave.
The flabbergasted monks of course immediately realized that once again Tara had proven to be the wisest, but what had she written? One monk unable to bear the question shouted out,
“Master Blumise, please at least tell us what Monk Tara wrote, which led to her to winning this competition,”
The great master smiled and said,
“Go ask the tree!”
Analysis of Zen Story, Beauty & the Art of Meditation:
Beautiful, glorious, wonderful, amazing, lovely, divine… we are ever ready and quick to describe that which we encounter, but do we ever just behold quietly? Do we ever take the time to be inwardly silent and listen to the story that the thing is trying to tell us, rather than impose our thoughts on it? This quiet looking, with all one’s senses, is the art of meditation. This is what Tara did.
Tara did not write her story about the tree, instead she listened and wrote the story which the tree told her. Although it is actually true, that if you listen very carefully you will be able to hear the trees talking, the lesson of this story is to learn and practice the art of observation. To learn the art of looking and listening with all your senses. Of putting aside your thoughts, feelings and opinions, and being thus empty allow the separation between you and the object to fall away.
The real question is how many of you will actually experiment with this? Actually spend some time investigating this possibility? It is only those who have the spirit and passion to explore this dimension, the dimension of meditation, who will discover the reality of Oneness.
Here are some more favorite short stories that other have enjoyed here on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga:
PS: I am a few weeks behind on emails and comments :-P. So please bear with me as I catch up on that. I have been a little busy lately. If you have sent a question, I will get to it in the very near future. Thanks for understanding.