Zen Koan #36: Parable of Flower Shower – Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Respect

Zen Koan #36: Parable of Flower Shower - Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Respect People relish verbalizing, especially if they feel solitary. Those who incline to verbalize non-stop generally have arduousness with practice, and withal make it arduous for others to practice. In our Zen recede, verbalizing is verboten, but there are still some people who cannot resist covertly saying a few words. Others accolade the rule and abstain from verbalizing, but that does not designate that they are not verbalizing with themselves.

All day long, while they are sitting, they come up with a theme, and then carry on a conversation with themselves. They ruminate over all sorts of issues. There is still a duality. However, someone who is hit by an adept monitor will feel very good and consider the board a great help. If this is so, it should be very facile to progress in the practice. You should keep your attention entirely on practice, without trying to attain any results. Even if there seems to be very little we can do, we can still help people by our presence of mind and by what we project out. We can affect the environment for the better.

Even though the method is not real, it is even worse to be suspended in a nebulous frame of mind. In the owner’s mind, this was a grave defect. You are truly tired and uncomfortable.

Zen Koan: “Flower Shower” Parable

Subhuti was Buddha’s disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,” the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we ahve not heard emptiness,” responded the gods. “This is the true emptiness.” And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.

Buddhist Insight on Cultivating Respect

One who seeks the true perfection of happiness must also attend to the cultivation of the mind and cultivate respect, according to Zen Buddhism. Repeatedly they would have to go through a course of desolation endured on earth to get happiness in heaven, and then the same again, always and always, lacking any end. Insanity in this case is giving up logical arguments, giving up concept. The American vipassana teacher Jack Kornfield writes in The Wise Heart, Buddhist Psychology for the West,

Whether practiced in a forest monastery or in the West, Buddhist psychology begins by deliberately cultivating respect, starting with ourselves. When we learn to rest in our own goodness, we can see the goodness more clearly in others. As our sense of respect and care is developed, it serves us well under most ordinary circumstances. It becomes invaluable in extremity…

When we bring respect and honor to those around us, we open a channel to their own goodness. I have seen this truth in working with prisoners and gang members, When they experience someone who respects and values them, it gives them the ability to admire themselves, to accept and acknowledge the good inside. When we see what is holy in another, whether we meet them in our family or our community, at a business meeting or in a therapy session, we transform their hearts.

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