Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Stone In Your Mind

Gloucester, MA, 20 August 2012
This massive object sitting in a Gloucester driveway has always reminded me of the Zen story koan, "The Stone Mind":

Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves. 

While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: "There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?"

One of the monks replied: "From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind."

"Your head must feel very heavy," observed Hogen, "if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind."

It also reminds me of the misplaced boulders that are a recurring theme in the paintings of Rene Magritte (November 21, 1898– August 15, 1967), whom I find to be very Zen:
Rene Magritte, "Le Monde Invisible" (1954)

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