The Sunbathing Carcass

Live well
to die better.

Stonepeace | Books

There was a (Y)outh leaning against a tree. He was ragged and depressed, yawning dispiritedly. A Chan (Chinese Zen) (M)aster came by…

Young man, the weather’s so good. Why aren’t you working instead of standing sighing here?
Y: I’ve got nothing in this world except this carcass of mine. Why should I take the trouble to go to work? All I do every day is to bathe this carcass of mine in the sun.
M: Have you no family?
Y: No. Raising a family is too much trouble…
M: Isn’t there anybody you love?
Y: No. Hate follows love and breaking up follows coming together…
M: Have you no friends?
Y: No. Rather than lose them later, it’s just as well not to make friends in the first place.

M: Don’t you want to work?
Y: No. You only work to make money. However much you make, you end up empty-handed… Why bother to expend all that energy?
M: (Gives cord) Since that’s the case, take this length of cord.
Y: What would I do with this?
M: Off you go and hang yourself. According to what you say, there’s life and then death. Rather than being unable to avoid death in the end, it’s just as well not to live now…

Many who study Zen mistakenly believe that having ‘seen through the red dust’ [of worldly life], there is no more to be done. This is great error and utterly absurd. Zen holds that ‘enlightening life, dedicating life’ is life’s ideal. ‘Enlightening life’ is ‘form is emptiness’. That is, to put down [the defilements of greed, hatred and delusion]. ‘Dedicating life’ is ’emptiness is form’. That is, to take up [the virtues of generosity, compassion and wisdom]… Attachment to form leads to hedonism and attachment to emptiness to nihilism.

Chinese Zen: A Path To Peace And Happiness
Wu Yansheng (Translated By Tony Blishen)

Die well
to live better.

Stonepeace | Books

Related Articles:

Danger Of Clinging To Emptiness
How To See Emptiness Of Forms

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