Posted on Nov.01.2012 @ 01:44AM EDTbyleoj99 71. Learning To Be Silent
The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen
entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one
another to observe seven days of silence.
On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun
auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one
of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: "Fix those lamps."
The second pupil was surprised to hear th first one talk. "We are not
supposed to say a word," he remarked.
"You two are stupid. Why did you talk?" asked the third.
"I am the only one who has not talked," concluded the fourth pupil.
After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master's
temple told a friend:
"Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person's face, so I must judge his
character by the sound of his voice. Ordinarily when I hear someone
congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret
tone of envy. When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another,
I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad
there was something left to gain in his own world.
"In all my experience, however, Bankei's voice was always sincere.
Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness, and
whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard."