A Koan For The New Millennium

The following is from June of last year. With the recent attempts to legislate a particular dogma from one particular variety of Christianity into the default position in the law regarding contraception and a host of other issues I felt this a good time to post it again.


I heard this over twenty years ago. I am repeating it from memory as Google can’t find it. If I err in the detail forgive me. The spirit endures.

A great teacher asked his student to tell him what Buddhism is. The student gave technically correct descriptive answers, yet each time the teacher would slap him and tell him to try again. Finally he smiled and said, ‘Buddhism is a stick that the traveler uses to remove mud from the soles of his feet.”

In that instant the student knew enlightenment.

In this new age there are far too many people willing to force their brand of faith upon others. They forget that faith is a function of belief and one can no more force someone to believe in a thing than one can compel love. Even if you could, the point of the koan is that Buddhism, like all religions, is a tool. In the words of Jeshua Ben Joseph of Nazereth; “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Sadly, I don’t think even a slap will clear the veil of illusion.

Be seeing you.




The Town Scryer
Latest posts by The Town Scryer (see all)