All Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Mountains (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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An inquisitive, young woman approached Lo Zu and asked him, “Why do you leave our village every day and go wandering off into the mountains?”

Lo Zu, the great sage, answered, “I have talked to all of you many times about ‘no mind’ and that, in essence, I do not really exist as anything concrete internally.  Yet, you all continue to see me as just another man.”

The inquisitive, young woman then pensively exclaimed, “I do not understand!”

Lo Zu then stated, “When this body is in the village, you say ‘Lo Zu is here.’  When this body is in the mountains, you say, ‘Lo Zu is not here.’  At least when one is in the mountains, you (in the village) speak the truth.”

 

 

 

Lichen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

 

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Atheist … (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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The elderly Lo Zu was sitting on a huge fallen log next to a beautiful pond that was not far from the village.  A much younger man, who was an atheist, came by and said to him, “Many people in the area say that you are a great wise man, a holy man, but if there is no God, then you are not a holy man, you are nothing.”

Lo Zu invited the man to sit next to him on the large, fallen log, which he did.  Then Lo Zu, said (while smiling), “We two can agree on one thing; I am nothing.”  

“Then there is no God,” the man pronounced with confidence.

Lo Zu then said, “‘God’, for most everyone, is an image (or series of images) that they have learned.  (They will insist that it is something much more than absorbed images.)  To these images, they associate power, dominance, kindly (special) protection, fatherliness, and unlimited knowledge.  However, these images (and their associative emotions) are self-protrusions of thought/thinking.”

“And so not anything real?” asked the man.

Lo Zu then said, “The sign on the road, just outside of town, that has the name of the town upon it, is not the town.  If someone steals the sign, they are not stealing the town.  If someone wants to visit the town, they do not crawl up the sign.  Additionally, to really be sure that the town is there, one must visit the town.”

“I see what you are getting at,” said the man.  “So, you are suggesting that one, such as you, can visit God.”

“Not really,” said Lo Zu.  “If one, through supposed will and choice, decides to visit ‘God,’ one is visiting one’s own learned images, one’s own learned thoughts and strong emotions associated with such thoughts.  Such a ‘visiting’ is usually a self-deluding form of acquisition that involves greed.” 

“So there is no real God,” the man insisted.

“Jumping to conclusions,” Lo Zu suggested, “may be as foolish as worshipping mere self-fabricated symbols, mere signs.   A strong belief that there is no God may be as superficial and primitive as a strong belief that there is a God.  Holistic perception inquires (without accumulated patterns) into what might be sacred; it inquires with a passion that surpasses beliefs of any kind (and actually finds out).”   

“So what are you saying?” the visitor queried.

Lo Zu replied, “I am saying that I will not encourage you to worship or to cling to any symbols of power, any symbols of divinity.  Worshiping self-created or learned images, that one projects (from what one absorbed from others), is similar to worshipping parts of oneself.  It may be that the true answer has to come to you.  (It cannot merely be visited, like an ordinary town.) The true answer is probably rather unapproachable, but that may be a real key; conclusions, accumulated images, and greed cannot expose it.  It is beyond foolish grasping.  The internal images of self are nothing when foolishness ceases.  When all of the windows are open and the room is not filled with garbage… only then can the breeze, perhaps, flow through.”

With that, Lo Zu stood up and began walking with his meandering cane and said,  “We must go; we see someone carrying a heavy burden and we will help them with it, to a certain point.  You can come along also… unless you prefer to remain stuck where you are.”

 

 

 

Bumblebee covered with Golden Pollen … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Dog Chasing its Own Tail (Another short Lo Zu tale)

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Lo Zu, after one of his frequent walks into the fields and wooded areas of nature, came walking into the village.  He stopped to rest for a while and leaned on his sinuous pole, his meandering cane; nearby, a small group of men, all of them sitting together, continued to repeatedly laugh hysterically.

Lo Zu realized that they were laughing at the fact that a nearby dog was repeatedly chasing its own tail.  Lo Zu continued to walk again and came closer to the men who were laughing.  He heard one of them say, “That dog is really ignorant!”  All of them, except Lo Zu, continued to laugh at the dog as it continued to chase its own tail.

Lo Zu turned to face the sitting men and said, “It is so easy to come to conclusions; conclusions that are wrong.”  Lo Zu further went on, “That dog could chase that cat that is a little way down the road, but cats can quickly scratch and the dog could easily get a gravely injured eye.   Likewise, the dog could chase after that man walking across the street.  However, the man could kick the dog or throw something at it, injuring it.  Instead, the dog takes the prudent approach and, for great exercise, chases its own tail.  A most intelligent animal!  I, myself, walk daily to the meadows and woods to enjoy the sweet butterflies and creatures; therefore I get quite a bit of exercise.  I see that dog exercising ‘most every day also.  Sometimes I see it chasing butterflies, which is also a very wise and safe form of exercising.  Exercising often is great intelligence.  I see you men sitting around here a lot each and every day.  Do any of you exercise?”

“Not really,” said one of the men.  (The men were no longer laughing.)

“I didn’t think so,” replied Lo Zu.  He further added, “The beginning of this doglike life always chases its own end; let the dog be your teacher.”

 

 

 

Black Swallowtail on Thistle Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Lo Zu and the Truth… (another short Lo Zu tale)

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A number of young men and young women in Lo Zu’s village gathered around him
one day and one of them said, “Many people, even from other villages, say that
you are a great sage, a man of vast wisdom who carries the truth; please show us
how to carry the truth with us.”

After a considerable length of silence, Lo Zu stood up and said, “If you want the truth, follow me and do exactly what I say, but it will be a very arduous journey with many difficulties.” Then Lo Zu took his meandering cane and began walking, and all of the youth eagerly followed him, with excitement and expectation in their eyes.

He walked through a very large meadow, often bending down to examine the beautiful wildflowers and
insects (while deeply enjoying them). The youth all followed. Then he walked into a thick forest
containing many creeks harboring extremely slippery rocks. All of the youth were somewhat afraid,
but they continued to follow him. After a couple of hours, they came out of the forest
and began climbing a small mountain, all following Lo Zu carefully and diligently. When they
finally reached a very lofty height, Lo Zu stopped walking and began carefully placing large
rocks in each of the youths’ hands. As he placed the large rocks in the hands of each of the
young followers, he said, “These are very special, sacred stones of truth; please carry these back to the
village very carefully, without dropping any; please do not drop the truth.”

Each of the youth carried a number of stones. They followed Lo Zu down off of the mountain. They struggled on their way through the dark forest; it was very 
perilous and difficult with the weight of the stones making their journey all the more excruciating.  As they walked through the large meadow, back toward the
village, many of them were aching with pain from the tiresome journey and from the heavy weight of the stones (over time).

When they finally reached the village, Lo Zu told them to place the stones in a large pile. It was the end of the day, getting dark, and everyone was extremely exhausted (except for Lo Zu who did not carry any stones). Lo Zu asked them, then, to stand in a circle around the stones.  Then Lo Zu remarked to them all, “Here is the truth you worked so diligently for.  These stones are absolutely worthless.  They are not any different from any other stones that one can find. You believed in me, hoping for the truth to be handed to you.  Out of your confusion, you decided that I always held the truth (to give to you). Many people, out of confusion, choose high-ranking “others” to lead them to the truth; out of their confusion, they choose! They go to temples and ask the temple-keepers to give them the truth. What the temple-keepers generally give, however, is as useless as these rocks. Nevertheless, people blindly and devotedly adhere to what they say, just as you have done with me today. It is evening, and you may be disappointed to find that you have wasted your whole day. Do not feel too wronged by this. Many people have wasted their entire lives in carrying the worthless stones, burden, weighty images, and so-called sacred statues of others, and it isn’t evening at the end of it for them; it is the time of their death. They wasted not a day but their entire life, and the sacred eluded them.
Therefore, do not cling to any groups or authoritarian leaders who claim to give concrete methods toward the truth; instead,
find living truth within, without using taxing systems or time.
The first step and the last step are one.”

 

 

Magnificent Eastern Tailed Blue (in a meadow, of course!)… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Lo Zu regarding the Best Clouds… (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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One young student of life asked Lo Zu, “Of all the various types of clouds in the sky,
which is the one that you deem best?”

The great sage’s penetrating eyes sagaciously looked up and he said,
“Not the huge, mountainous, white towering clouds that have accumulated much.  Neither the
saturated, heavy clouds, for each is darkly full of itself; nor the clouds that stretch, sheet-like,
blanketing the whole sky; they think that they know everything.
However, there is real beauty in the little, truly humble, faint cloud of no-mind that one can barely see,
that no one notices; it lets the sun through and helps illuminate the darkness.
  Fireflies can illuminate
darkness too; very few people love them like I love them.”

 

 

 

Firefly Illumination Happening!… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

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A Poem About my Camera… (or The Perceiver is not separate from the Perceived)

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As it fell from my
hands into the river,
my second-rate, semi-waterproof
camera was drowning.
I tried to give it mouth-to-
mouth resuscitation
but then received a
massive jolt of electricity
into my flared chops.
As I remained passed-out
on the riverbank, 
sweet images of beautiful flowers
crawled in my head
and I smiled,
realizing that a camera
was no longer needed.

 

 

Wildflowers and Soldier Beetle… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018