Treeleaf Zen

Treeleaf Zen

Old Master Stone

We welcome back a very special guest teacher today …

… a true rock star, one of the original ‘Rolling Stones’

(and before anyone asks … No, I am not ‘stoned’)

As the sound is not very clear at points, here’s a list of some of my questions to Master Stone …

– What is your goal in life, as a stone?

– Do you need to achieve some goals, and realize some dreams, in order to feel good and a success about your stoney self? Will you feel inadequate, a mediocre mineral, if you do not reach your goals and dreams?

– What could make you more who you want to be, a more perfect stone? A stonier stone?


– Do you feel that you are a lesser stone, and less a stone, than the bigger and more imposing stones in the garden?

– You are missing a few chips that have been knocked off you. Are you sad about their loss, do you long for their return?

– I see that you have ants and a beetle crawling over you. Do you resent them for doing that?

– What would you like to change, if you could, about your rocky life?

– Even stones wear away with time. Do you worry about that?

– Where do you think stones, and the whole earth, came from before there were any ‘stones’? Where do you think stones go when stones die, besides “dust to dust”? And do the answers to those questions effect how you sit as a stone right now?

At the end, Master Stone suggested we drop all the questions … and just sit like stones sit …


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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posted June 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Rock on, Jundo. Very pertinent lesson. There is no one else out there like you. My regards to your guest, Mr. Stone. My son died one year and five months ago today, a difficult fact to ‘sit’ with. On days like this, I’d trade places with the stone in a heartbeat. At some future date, perhaps you can share your thoughts as a father on the lose of a child, every parent’s nightmare. Namaste.

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posted June 19, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Hello Bill,
My comments as a father can only be from my imagination, as I have not experienced such lost first hand. I cannot imagine the pain of losing our son.
If Buddhism has any special view on such loss, it is this: There is no loss, for there was never any gain. No death, for there is no birth. That is rather hard to grasp, I know, but it is one of the reasons that the name of this Sangha is “Treeleaf” … little leaves spring from the tree and drop therefrom, yet the tree remains. We cannot see that fact so easily, but little leaves were just the tree all along.
As well, life is not a matter of long or short. “Too long” and “too short” are measures which we create and impose on life, which is always just as long or short as it is.
So, those are Buddhist views on life and death that are not so obvious to most of us all the time. They may be called the expressions of life and death beyond merely this Samsara world in which we reside.
But, as well, when we cry … just cry. You see, “pain” need not be “suffering” in a Buddhist sense. The “pain” of loss need not be “suffering”. All that to be. To feel grief at loss is the natural human condition, natural for any father who has lost a son. So, pain and sadness are natural. Resisting the pain, refusing the sadness adds a layer of “suffering” on top of that. Resisting life, and the way things are … including loss of a son, and the sadness that results … is “suffering”. So, when you are sad, know that it is just the natural and human condition in this world of Samsara in which we live.
Samsara is precisely Nirvana, Nirvana this very Samsara, when tasted as such.
Gassho and Be Well, Jundo

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posted June 20, 2009 at 9:05 am

I must also add that a lost son is reborn in traditional Buddhist view. How or when … we cannot say for sure. Perhaps he is reborn as all that will someday come. But a lost son is reborn.
Gassho, Jundo

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