Black Bear came to see Raven one morning and said, "I have this persistent pain under my right shoulder blade. Shall I try sitting through it?"Verse
Raven asked, "Have you tried sitting through it?"
Black Bear said, "It just gets worse."
Raven said, "Maybe you should elevate your seat a little. Try sitting on a stone."
Black Bear said, "It doesn't seem to help."
Raven said, "Try lying down."
Black Bear said, "Can I really do zazen lying down?"
Raven asked, "How else can you do it?"
A little rub dispels a small itch:
A single push of fingers across the spot, and half-way back.
Substantial itches, though: rub leads to scratch,
And scratch to scratch, increasing the injury.
Here, then, is your life:
Knowing when to rub, to scratch, and when, though difficult, to leave alone --
And, usually, not knowing.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonPREVIOUS ☙ NEXT ☙ INDEX