Basho’s 9th Century Message for Today

Basho was a master of the ninth century. One day he was sitting with his feet across the garden-path. A monk came along with a wheel-barrow. Tuck in your feet, said the monk. What has been extended cannot be retracted, answered Basho. What has been started cannot be stopped cried the monk who then pushed the barrow over Basho’s feet. This Zen story points to the persistent illusion of perception in the material world versus the unstoppable wheel of life and death which holds the only possibility of liberation from illusion. From Zen and Art, by Arthur Waley.

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