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Giving and Receiving

Posted by tinako on June 1, 2009

This week’s comic from Zen Speaks is called Giving and Receiving.  If you think it has nothing to do with food, you haven’t been listening.

Two monks are sitting together.  The older one says, “I’m getting old.  To symbolize your succeeding me, I give you this precious book.”

The younger one smiles and replies, “No, no, no.  I have accepted your zen that is not reliant on the written word.  I like its original face.  You go ahead and keep the book.”

“This book has been passed down for seven generations.  You should still take it as a token of your accepting the robe and alms bowl.”

The younger monk says, “All right,” and proceeds to cheerfully burn the precious book.

The older monk is shocked and then angry, shouting, “What are you doing?!”

The younger monk gets even angrier, shouting back, “What are you saying?!!”

The narrator comments, “Knowledge and action should be one.  Preaching something but not practicing it is just like someone who recites the scriptures but doesn’t understand the principles of Buddhism.”

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