Clearly my final enlightenment—satori!—is near at hand, for I have bought a book that will lead me there: D.T. Suzuki’s “The Zen Koan as a means of Attaining Enlightenment.”
The clerk at Salem’s Book Bin was suitably impressed with my purchase, telling me “We hope you’ll come back after your enlightenment and share your realization.” I said, “Absolutely. I plan to charge $8 for this dispensation of wisdom, which will enable me to realize a 50 cent profit from buying this $7.50 book.”
Obviously my spiritual motives are pure. So pure that a humble part of me continually whispers, “Brian, you are already enlightened.” I like that voice. I want to trust it. But I don’t want to take any chances with my satori. Though I may already have become one with Buddha nature, I figure it won’t hurt to add to my oneness.
Hence, my purchase of the book. Now, I don’t have a Zen Master, nor do I want one. My Zen transcends spiritual discipline and organized practice, which makes it so easy for me to follow. And also easy for me to confirm my satori, since I don’t have to go through the unappealing process of getting my enlightenment confirmed by someone else.
I’ll decide when my Buddha nature is fully Buddhaized, thank you. And I don’t need a Zen Master to give me a koan either. I’ve got plenty of koans lying right around the house that should work fine to top off my satori tank. Here are some examples of homey koans that defy rational explication.
After a man has washed the cutting board and returned it to its place still wet, so the board can drip-dry onto the counter, if he does not hear the sound of a woman chastising him, is he still wrong?
And lastly, my favorite koan of all:
If a sentient being already has acquired countless books describing a myriad of spiritual practices, only a few of which are shown here, and each claims in its own unique fashion to convey the truth about ultimate reality, what are the chances of another book making any difference?