The Turtle in the Garden

A monk saw a turtle in the garden of Daizui's monastery and asked the teacher, "All beings cover their bones within flesh and skin. Why does this being cover its flesh and skin with bones?" Master Daizui took off one of his sandals and covered the turtle with it.

The monk was bent on discriminating - skin, flesh, bones, inside, outside. Discrimination can be carried as far as one likes - is mind inside of body or is body inside of mind? - but this attitute always results in arguments and explanations. Life is neither. Life is an organic, living totality. Daizui covered the turtle with his sandal to indicate to the monk that his understanding of reality reached no further than the phenomenal world.


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