The Reality of Death
During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived - everyone except the Zen master.
Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn't treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger. "You fool," he shouted as he reached for his sword, "don't you realise you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!"
But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. "And do you realise," the master replied calmly, "that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?"
Without contrast the image is blurred.
Look at the background; the silence,
the vastness, the no-thingness.
The foreground is no longer the same.
What is seen is beyond both.
The void, the unlimited is real.
It is not separate from you.
Nothing to hold, nothing to keep.
Neither possessions, nor loved ones,
nor the body, nor the mind,
nor the self.
Clinging is taken away.
Resisting is gone.
Holding is gone. Holding is gone.
Gone, gone, gone beyond.
Completely gone beyond.