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Everything Is Still There

A Zen monk Ikkyū had been meditating alone for quite a few days without uttering a word. His master saw him through and then brought him outside of the temple with a smile.

Outside the temple beautiful spring scenery was to be enjoyed – fresh air, peak green shoots of grass, birds darting through the air, and murmuring brooks.

Ikkyū took a deep breath and then peeked at his master. The master was composedly sitting at the hillside for Zen meditation.

A bit confused, Ikkyū had no idea of what the master was up to.

As the afternoon was passed, the master stood up and motioned Ikkyū back to the temple.

As soon as the master entered the door of the temple, he suddenly turned around and shut the double wood doors gently, leaving Ikkyū outside.

Not knowing what the master’s intention, Ikkyū just sat outside alone to ponder on the master’s motivation.

Very soon it got dark and the mist clouded the surrounding hills. The woods, the brooks, and the sound of birds and waves could be seen or heard no more.

At that moment, the master called Ikkyū from inside. Ikkyū opened the door and walked in.

The master asked, “How is everything outside?”

“It is all dark.”

“Anything else?”

“Nothing at all.”

“No,” said the master, “Outside is fresh wind, green fields, flowers and plants, brooks … everything is still there. ”

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