‘Awareness is about what we are doing when we are not meditating.’

Mind the gap: Tony D’Souza reflects on another tale from the Zen tradition

'Reality is always waiting to be discovered because it is always here. Where else could it be?' | Photo: Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

After many years of apprenticeship (ten years in all, not including the first three when he swept the floor, made tea and did whatever he was told) the young man had achieved the rank of Zen teacher. Now, on a rainy, windswept day, he felt happy and confident in his accomplishment as he climbed the steep hill to visit his master. The heavy rain made the path slippery, and climbing it in his wooden clogs was very difficult as his feet slipped in the wet mud. Suddenly, his umbrella, which he held aloft in his right hand, blew inside out and flapped about wildly in the wind. Trying to restore it to its original purpose was like wrestling with a large demented bat.

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