Q91. What do you mean by ‘Everything is the gate to the truth’?

A. It means that everything you hear and see is teaching you. You can reach your final goal if you grasp this teaching. Let me give you an example.

Once upon a time a monk who had been practising Zen meditation with the Zen question, ‘What was your original face like before you were born?’ happened to be walking across a market place. He saw a group of people making a great fuss around a humble looking man. The fact was that this man was caught stealing some money from an elderly woman. Some bystanders in the crowd blamed him and some were feeling pity for him. One of them said to him, “You’ve lost your face now. How can you save your face before your family?” The poor man answered with his head bent, “I have no face to lose any more.” The moment the monk heard the phrase ‘I have no face to lose’, his question ‘What was your original face like before you were born?’ was solved perfectly. The trivial word from the humble thief was the greatest teaching to the monk that he had ever heard in his life. What would not be a gate to the truth, if even such a trifle as the thief’s words is the greatest teaching?

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Do you want to hear the teaching of the truth?
Listen carefully to your family and neighbours.
©Boo Ahm
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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