Monday, March 26, 2018

Denny's Mind Matters

"Let's discuss the air around us Denny. Can you see the air when my arms channel it's current?" Zen Chen offers his student a simple start to their next conversation.

"No master, I feel the air, and there is always a difference when you change your tone from leisure to seriousness and back. I see the trees and other objects move, so I know I am seeing you change the air," the student flatters his master with a sincere attempt to avoid sounding patronizing.

"You feel what you feel. That is your right. I feel nothing. That is also your right. I feel everything. That is for me alone. I have already begun translating the I Ching properly into English, but such power should not be wielded but any dumb local citizen proud to stand on a waiting list all night in the cold to be the first to vote on the next sheriff of his district."

"Yes," Denny agrees.

"No! Stop blindly agreeing with someone because you falsely believe there are others in existence more powerful, wiser, or knowledgeable than you, and therefore they must be infallible. Agree when you have given the subject sufficient consideration to understand the different consequences that could result," Zen Chen offers his student as a supplemental lesson to the intended teaching, though Denny, deeply adrift in contemplative analysis, doesn't immediately process the connection between Zen Chen's points on translating a book, mastering the elements that surround each of us, and knowing when to change the strategy of a failed attempt.

The master snaps his fingers, hoping to curtail the students runaway train of fantastic impossibilities his imagination invents before the fantasy drifts any further from the intended teaching of the day.
"A book is just words. The translation is just a translation. My interpretation happens to be better suited for practical applications than the current known understanding people have acquired from previous translations. But, you should understand, my interpretation is how I have come to understand the book, and that understanding translates to a closer match for the proper interpretation of the intended meaning of the original work in a way that my mind can apply the written instructions. That is why the book I have been writing over the past few years may have any value at all, though I don't think anybody could predict it's value until well after we are all too old to care," Zen Chen slows down his words, recognizing the possible lack of confidence he may have unintentionally portrayed, "Otherwise, it will end up being as free as Papoose's nonsense about her puppy wars," the master sardonically concludes.

"When will it be my time to control the kingdom's seasons?"

"I see you have not forgotten the reason we began this conversation? That time will come most certainly if you are that focused on acquiring such frivolous skills," the master's tone deepens as his brow lowers. "I suppose when you can tell me how much faster the loudest winter breeze is than a dark summer night's refreshing midnight arctic wind," the master postulates as he hides his smirk and studies his student's immediate reaction, an expected dismissal and denial, as if to protect the creative flow he found himself swimming in just moments ago from the dangerous waters of uncertainty now flooding the established foundation the student rests his reasoning securely upon.

"Well they are both louder than air that is still," Denny desperately delivers, drenched with sarcasm, despite the master's distinct grimace denying the defensive dribble. Denny quickly recovers his composure by inquiring of Zen Chen to elaborate where the student has clearly been challenged sufficiently, "How can I become a.zen master like you if you will not teach me the ways as you understand them,"the student solemnly addresses his superior with sincerity.

"Is wind any different than air that is still?" the young master engages Denny's concentration by embracing the witty remark the student used to spar with his master before recognizing his own frustrations.

"I'm not sure master," Denny confesses, "I guess I would have to think about it."

"Good! That is a different approach than your previous attempt to begin to communicate with the wind you wish to control," Zen Chen's brow centers as his eyes squint and study the student's facial impression of his master's very specifically chosen wording on his student's limited understanding of controlling the wind.

"Master!" the student answers, implying his understanding of how silly the response was. "You know what I mean! You control the air and the space for as far as the eye can see in any direction. When there is a drought, you smile and the clouds begin to form. How can I learn that master?"

"Ah. So you want to be me?"


"No master, I just want to be like you."


"No master, I want to learn the teachings you have learned."