Reading time: ca. minutes



4. Be Still And Know

What do we know, what is true and what do we think we know, but is in fact rather an obscuring of what is actually present. That, in a nutshell, is the content of this book.

The motto of what's shared here goes back to a more than 1,000-year-old saying of the sage Sengts'an in the Hsin-Hsin Ming:

"Don't search for The Truth, just stop cherishing opinions."

Hsin-Hsin Ming

Alan Watts expressed this as follows:

"The truth is revealed by removing things that stand in its light, an art not unlike sculpture, in which the artist creates, not by building, but by hacking away."

Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity

Paul Reps, writes in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones the following story: Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868–1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup", Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"