Saturday, January 30, 2016

Celebration of Re:Framing

While walking in the monastery garden one zen monk approached another and asked if it wouldn’t be nice to smoke a cigarette. “Let’s ask the abbot,” suggested the other.  

The next day, the second monk saw the first and asked, “What was the abbot’s answer?” 

The first monk replied, “The abbot was very quick and strict and said, ‘no, definitely not.” 

The next day the first monk saw the second monk walking in the garden and smoking. He approached him and said, “did the abbot say you could smoke?” 

“Why, yes, he did.” 

“But I do not understand. If I was forbidden, how is it that you are not?” 

“Ahh,” said the second monk, “Please tell me precisely what you asked the abbot when he forbade you to smoke.”

“I asked, is it permissible to smoke when I am meditating in the garden?” 

“There you have it,” said the second monk. “What I asked the abbot was, ‘when I am meditating in the garden, is it permissible for me to smoke?’”

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