Sunday, August 23, 2009

The music teacher I'd like to be

Paul Reps tells a version of this story in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. A great Zen master was sitting in meditation beside a lake. A man approached him and said, "Master, I've traveled many miles to receive your teaching. I humbly ask that you accept me as your student."

The master grabbed the man by the scruff of the neck, dragged him into the lake, and held his head under the water for a minute or two. When the master finally let the man go, he let him cough and sputter and catch his breath, and then he looked him in the eye and said, "When I was holding your head under the water just now, what did you desire most of all?"

The man said, "Air."

The master said, "Go away. Come back when you desire my teaching as much as you desired air."

1 comment:

Orion Weiss said...

Ah, I know this story. It's a great one. I've often reflected on it actually. Course you might not want to rob your flute students of air first thing. :)

On another note, thanks for being so encouraging to me today. You have no idea how much that means to me...:)