When the founder of Zen came to China from India, he did not set up written or spoken formulations; he only pointed directly to the human mind. Direct pointing just refers to what is inherent in everyone:
An experience as devastating as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan causes us all to wonder why and how such an event can occur. The loss of human life and damage to property poses many sobering questions to a person of compassion and conscience. It touches us at the deepest level and forces us to confront the experience of suffering.
Yet there are lessons, insights, and healings that come from even the darkest night of the soul.
Publisher's Description: Bring Me the Rhinoceros is an unusual guide to happiness and a can opener for your thinking. For fifteen hundred years, Zen koans have been passed down through generations of masters, usually in private encounters between teacher and student. This book deftly retells more than a dozen traditional koans, which are partly paradoxical questions dangerous to your beliefs and partly treasure boxes of ancient wisdom. Koans show that you don’t have to impress people or change into an improved, more polished version of yourself. Instead you can find happiness by unbuilding, unmaking, throwing overboard, and generally subverting unhappiness. John Tarrant brings the heart of the koan tradition out into the open, reminding us that the old wisdom remains as vital as ever, a deep resource available to anyone in any place or time.
A Zen story tells of a man who came home one evening and found a thief tossing his possessions into a sack. In Zen fashion, the homeowner decided to just sit outside the door and meditate. At some point the thief saw the man and dashed out of the house. In the commotion the homeowner opened his eyes and saw that the thief had dropped a bowl from his sack.
“Wait, you forgot something!” called the homeowner as he picked up the bowl and tried to catch the crook. But the thief was running fast and soon disappeared into the night.
The owner stopped and took a breath. He looked up into the sky and noticed the night was illuminated by a stunning full moon. “I wish I could give you the moon,” he whispered with a sigh.
A BIG, BURLY SAMURAI comes to a Zen master and says, "Tell me the nature of heaven and hell."