There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work, time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work, time does not enter, he said to himself: It shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life.
Henry David Thoreau
Frank carries a staff with him on some of his walks. It was hardly crafted at all from a fallen branch in our forest sanctuary, being perfect in its natural form. It becomes more perfect all the time as Frank adds a natural patina from his handling of this tree, often admired by others he encounters on his walks.
We are perfect, and getting better all the time.
A bird in the forest perches on only one branch at a time. This is the wise persons’ practice.
The Art of Zen Warriors
In Japan the samurai practiced Zen to master the sword. As long as the samurai was afraid of losing his life, he could not act with his full ability. When he was free from the idea of killing or being killed, he could just react to his enemy’s activity, and win. If he tried to win, he might lose. So practicing how to act without fear, which limits your activity, is the most important thing. Although it was a matter of surviving on the battlefield, the samurai fought his fight during his meditation practice.