CONSCIOUSNESS CAFÉ Sitting quietly, doing nothing;
Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.
Welcome in this light-hearted, stimulating space where friends and strangers come together online for energising, thought-provoking encounters.
Inspired by the works of Hellinger, Jung, Rogers, Moreno, Perls, Lowen and other innovating scholars of consciousness, these unconventional meetings are an opportunity to enter the
unexpected, the delightful, the liberating real.
The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he sat.
Suddenly his zazen was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. "Old man! Can you teach me about heaven and hell!"
At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second.
"You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?" replied the monk at last. "You who are so unkempt. You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt. You whose hair is uncombed, whose breath is foul? You whose sword is all rusty and neglected. You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny. You would ask me of heaven and hell?"
The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk's head from its shoulders.
"That is hell," said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent.
In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, recognition and compassion for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears.
Things are not
what they appear to be;
nor are they otherwise.
A flower falls, even though we love it;
and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.
The Zen master Huike was meditating by a river when a young man called Bimo interrupted him. "Master, I wish to become your disciple," said Bimo. "Why?" asked Huike. "Because I want to find Liberation."
Huike slowly got to his feet, and told Bimo to come with him into the water.
They both entered the river. The master asked Bimo to put his head under the water. He then grabbed and held his head down! After a few seconds Bimo tried to come up for air, but the master held his head firmly under the water.
After a little while Bimo started to splutter and struggle to get up but Huike still held him down. Just before he drowned, Huike released him and said: "Come back and see me when you want liberation as much as you wanted air just now.”