Not Flag, Not Wind

Two monks were arguing about a flag. One said, "The flag is moving." THe other said, "The wind is moving." The sixth patriarch, Eno, happened to be passing by. He told them, "Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving."

The two monks are attached to external things, flag and wind. Eno denies external things and says it is mind that is moving. In so doing, Eno attaches to mind. But Eno knows better than that - he simply is pointing out the error of attaching to external things. (A Buddhist nun once said to monks who were discussing the same koan: "The flag does not move; the wind does not move; the mind does not move.") The truth is totality, non-attachment. Anything that is conceptualised is not reality. Zen teaches one to see things as they are and to understand without analysing and conceptualising.


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