October 26, 2012

Steps



 
There was once a meeting of teachers and students. The students were asked to come up with what they considered to be the most important aspect of zen. After a lengthy discussion, one student who was the spokesman for the group said, “We have decided that the most important aspect is awareness. After a long silence, the student repeated that they thought awareness was the most important aspect. Master Li replied, “What?” Master Li then spoke about the most important aspect. “If you are on a critical one hundred mile walk, which is the most important step? The first? The one that completed the halfway point, or the one that successfully completed the trek? Without the first, the journey would not ever start. Without the step halfway through, it would indicate you had given up or something had happened to you. Without the last step, you would not have had success in finally completing the journey after having come so far. So tell me, is one step more important than any other?”

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