A Zen Koan

“Master!” cried the little Raidon.
His Master looked at the little boy as he ran up to him faster than the fumes that rose from his tea. Even the Master’s tea knew patience. He smiled and returned to sipping his light jasmine tea.
“Master, I know a teaching of yours that is wrong.” The blood splashed around in that beautiful pale vase which panted and sweated in the early summer heat. The Master pursed his lips to contain the warmth of the tea and his amusement at how early Raidon found enough tricks to annul the wisdom of the ancient sages.
“Really Raidon? You must be very quick! What is it?”
“You said that the path of Nature is the ultimate. You said that we must learn from the ways of the elements and become like them.”
“Become like them, Raidon? I think I said imbibe their Truth.”
“Yes, something like that” Raidon said hastily in order to proceed with his latest find.
“Hmmm. Do go on.” The Master was smiling as the flavour of jasmine was perfectly brewed with the earthy tones of the water. He always preferred to fetch water from the Suki lake for his tea.
“That teaching of yours is incorrect.”
“None of the teachings are mine, dear.”
“I mean what you called the wisdom of the ancient sages – that teaching is wrong.”
“Hmmm. This is a serious allegation you make. Pray, tell me how you wish to prove them wrong.”
“The elements are foolish. They do not know anything and do not decide. They are without life and without faculties of discernment. They are stupid and hence do nothing to set an example of life or living.”
“And why should that be against your taste?”
“If I were water flowing down like a river, I would not give water to the bad men, like thieves and murderers and the like. If I were the wind I would not let evil men breathe.”
“To give to all what you give to the One is wrong?”
“Absolutely. How can you treat everyone alike? It seems like a stupid way to live.”
“And it would be fine for the river to have favourites amongst the men and women who bend to fill their pitchers?”
“If you were one of them, it is.”
Raidon looked down at his feet, for he was surprised as to what kept him standing after that statement from his Master.
“Raidon, fire burns all and by doing that it is. The water that flows, is. The air that is a breeze of silk, is. The mountains that stand tall, are. They continue to be what they are no matter how many times the world changes. The elements aren’t irresponsible in their demeanour. They simply are.”
And he smiled at the pot which had cooled his tea. Cool jasmine tea had its own flavour.

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