April 20, 2017

The Pointing Finger



A Zen teacher would take his dog for a walk every evening. The dog loved to go for walks and be with his master. One evening, the teacher invited one of his students to join him. “I know you pay strict attention to the talks we give. You must understand however that the talks are only guideposts. Don’t let the words get in the way of truth. The teacher called his dog. “Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon. “Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of his student. “He’s looking at your finger” said the student. “Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Each person must find their way through other people’s words to find his own truth.”

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