See Ya So Ya

Dear Ron,

I hear that you are a zen maven. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

The sound of one hand clapping is what I always hear when I finish singing a song.

Dear Ron,

I liked your answer to my previous koan, but I don’t think it was zeny enough. Try this one. If a tree falls in the forest and you are not in that forest, has it really fallen?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

Of course it has. I spoke to the lumberjack with the concussion.

Dear Ron,

Quipy, but still not zeny enough. For the Awakened One, does thought precede or succeed  action?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

Thinking is action and action is thinking. When the Awakened One thinks, he is  wide awake, otherwise he would be dreaming. If he dreams he is wide awake, on the other hand, he is sleeping and wide awake at the same time, which may cause him to want breakfast or a nicer pillow. If that isn’t zeny enough for you, you are certainly snoring.

Dear Ron,

That one did impress. But how can you be so sure about your reply?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

How can you be so sure of your question?

Dear Ron,

I liked that one too.  But if I may be so bold, I come of a long line of Ya’s, which gives me a track record. My question is steeped in tradition. Your answers are ravings. That is the difference between sense and nonsense. Kindly reply.

Dear So Ya,

And I come from a long line of Rons. But from an awakened perspective, sense and nonsense are the same. Then again, sleep feels so good.

Dear Ron,

You are so right. I’m glad you heard the snoring. But we do always wake up. Can’t sleep forever. Not possible. Not good. But pain. We feel the pain when we are awake. You know?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

We are in pain because we have disease .  But we think we are well when we are not. That is the problem. People need to be shown they are sick, and doctors are hard to find. That’s why people write to me.

Dear Ron,

That is true but still not zeny enough. Stay on message if you are doctor. Give prescription, not opinion.

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

My prescription to you is get your head out of your ass. You are covered in zeny shit. Zen is a word and words mean nothing.  As far as being  zeny. If I had a penny for how zeny I am, I would be a rich Ronnie. My life IS zen!  Don’t you get that? So, please spare me about being zenier.

Dear Ron,

Not only are you not zeny. You are getting zingy. You have zinged me for calling you not zeny enough,  which is definitely not zeny. Admit it. You are fraud. Sorry about that, but I have to call them. I only hope the line of zen masters does not one day come back and take you to task. If you were a real zen boy, you wouldn’t have taken my bait. Zen masters are not arrogant crapsters like you. They sit down and look at walls. They don’t write an advice column. Please do not besmirch the good name of all the Patriarchs with your wizardry. You may even be the enemy of zen, the fly in the Buddha’s eye.

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

And you are the bug in the Buddha’s butt. Have you ever heard the story of the pickpocket who met the zen master and could only see his pockets? That’s right. You are the pickpocket. You see illusion, not reality. The Patriarchs could do worse than count me as one of them. Because I do not sit in front of walls every moment( and believe me, I have my wall-staring moments) does not mean I am not the real thing.  You want everything to come to you in a neat package. Well, get over it. I am a drooling, slobbering maniac who oozes zen, not some orange- frocked baldy with a walking stick. Thank you for your letter.

Dear Ron,

You are welcome. But do you at least have a name that sounds a bit zenesque, like Gempo or Gisan or Lao Lu? Ron is about as American as a hot dog. No good. As one zen boy told me recently, “Before satori, wear clothes. After satori, wear better clothes.” I think you need a change of wardrobe to say the least. Or! Is it that you have have not reached the State of Broken Shackles?

So Ya,

Dear So Ya,

I happen to like my name. It has a nice clean ring about it.  You really think I should change it? To what?

Dear Ron,

How about Rona? Or Rona Li?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

Isn’t  that a bit girly? I have my readers to think of.

Dear Ron,

Surely we know of Yin and Yang. Your Yin leaves something to be desired. Your Yang is too prominent.  It would increase your readership.  More females to write to you. You see?

So Ya

Dear So Ya,

You might have a point there. Business has fallen off drastically. I think the girls find me too crusty. But what’s in a name?  What I will do though is to show my feminine side to the ladies. That way they will view me more as a girlfriend confidante. So Ya. I have been awakened. Thank you!

Dear Ron,

My pleasure. Like No Ju said to Phew Yu when he entered his cabin to start morning zazen. “ It’s dark, turn on light.”  And Phew Yu became enlightened.  I will be watching. See ya.

So Ya

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