The Long Bodhi and the Short Bodhi

A student once asked a master: What is the fundamental principle of Buddhism?

The master said: Ask me when no one is around and I shall tell you.

Later the student cornered the master while he was walking through the garden saying: No one is around master!  Tell me the fundamental principle of Buddhism.

The master led the student to the bamboo, pointing, he said: That one is a short one, that one is a long one.

The student was then enlightened.


Seekers stand by the seashore.

Waters above, separated from waters below; they stare at the stars.

Turning down—flecks of quartz glint with their own light.

One thinks to the other: that one is like the long body, that one is the like the short body.

Is it so?  That standing here—seeing the stars stationary, my arms rest at my side.  Should I start spinning so that the stars might spin as well?  And my arms—and the stars—may move outward.

Because mass out there influences inertia here.

As it is—as above, so it is—as below.

Feature Image: Voyager 1; Pale Blue Dot


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