January 22, 2011

Koan Study: Distraction

Master Li was very strict about following the temple rules. He often chided students for wearing tabi (socks) on cold mornings. Once during a public meditation session, a very pretty and bikini clad young lady came into the zendo right before meditation session was to begin and sat down on the floor to begin meditation. This caused a small disturbance among the students and other guests. A priest came up to Master Li and asked if the woman should be asked to leave. “Why would we do that?” asked Master Li. The priest explained that the woman was not properly dressed for meditation and might distract the other people in the zendo. "It breaks the rules of meditating here in the zendo" the priest emphasized. Master Li rubbed his chin and told the priest, “Let’s do this. You conduct the meditation session and I will sit here and watch her to see if she is distracting anyone. There is no point being a fanatic about the rules.”

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