Short stories: Is it better to push, or be pushed, that is the question?

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 18th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Zen pushes you along without ever pushing.

This article shows us in its way that it is better neither to be pushed, nor to push. Life never pushes anyone. Let it take you at its own pace to where you need most to be taken to.

This is Zen cycling.

Recycled Zen is never better than the real Zen

There was a Buddhist Zen master of the early 1920's who resided in Chungczen, a province of China. His name was similar to the province name, and perhaps his parents picked his name more easily by their naming him like this.

His name was Chungzencye Dhou, but he usually went by his surname of Dhou, as it was much more simple to say. Anyway, as a youth he was found to be very lazy in his habits.

Dhou had a tandem bicycle where he always sat at the back position. This allowed him to let another person, being his father or his brother, sometimes even his mother, to do most if not all of the pushing and the pedalling for him.

This went on through his teenage years until one day he was riding along and looking around in a carefree but lazily relaxed style as his mother pulled him along, once more again on the tandem bicycle.

A man they had just ridden passed, old and wizened up said in a soft and low voice maybe to Dhou, or maybe and seemingly so it was to no one in particular.

"Your mother pushed you out once before my son, why allow her to keep pushing you still now too, my good son. Push yourself by not pushing yourself. Cycle your bike by not cycling your bike, but don't never allow another to push or cycle for you ever again, my good lad, not ever again."

He had said this in a rather slow, but authoritarian, and in an all wise, all knowing, sounding type of voice, but which was really only a soft and nearly un-hearable whisper, amongst the crowd of people also moving along and riding on their own bicycles in the busy and boisterously noisy streets of the small town.

The old master continues his talk to Dhou

The old man went on,

"Take what you can my son from what I have said. You have a potential to ride more than just a cycle. You will help others one day to ride more easily through their lives with the truth that you will impart to them."

Dhou rode along for another mile or two with his mother still pushing the bike along hard from the front seat, when it suddenly hit him what the old Zen Master had really meant.

It took that long for the soft whisper to reach past his still lazy ears, and which had never really listened to others properly, or fully ever before either.

The message was that to achieve self-mastery, and to be his real self, he had to recycle himself by not tagging along on another's journey, letting anyone else do the pushing, and so doing the hard work for him, that he was meant to be doing.

Dhou thought and pondered on this so much as his mother continued to pedal along on her tandem bicycle, making all the extra effort for the two of them put together. She had carried him since his birth, and she was still carrying him now.

Dhou felt a bit sad and sorry at this thought as it cycled through his mind, and just as it was about to leave his mind, he pulled it then right back into himself.

"Life had to be about taking your own journey."

Dhou jumped down from the bicycle at this realisation, and he backtracked along the road, and he returned to the feet of the old master.

Dhou becomes a student of life

Dhou went up to the old man still sitting alone on the pavement, and he said to him,

"Can I be your student, O great and revered revealer of truth."

The Master smiled, and then he said ever so gently, but so pointedly and meaningfully:

"No Dhou, when you are ready to ride your own bike, and treat me not as a revered master, but just as another rider, you can come back to me then for further instruction, my son."

Dhou went off, and he bought himself another bicycle.

He rode it around the province and it was his bent, or maybe even it was his destiny, to one day, maybe even if it was twenty five years later, to be riding along a mountain trail and pushing for all he was worth, puffing, sweating profusely, and struggling valiantly, as he made hard work of the steep climb up the mountain track, so rough and rocky was the way.

And then he heard an old familiar raspy voice, whispering even quieter to him than the first time when he had heard it, those twenty five long years ago.

Dhou immediately looked around, and then he saw the same old master sitting cross legged on a large rock on the left side of the road or track that he was moving along.

Dhou stopped riding his bike, and he said to the old man, "but what did you just say? Did you say something to me just then?"

For even after another twenty five years his ears were still a bit lazy, and so his awareness levels were still a bit lower than he had thought that it was by now.

The old master only smiled.

He said to Dhou,

"If you are forever pushing yourself along like you do, you will always miss the real message, or point of anything because of this. You should never allow the Zen mind to leave you, and so let your physical body and thoughts be all of you. as you struggle along through life."

"Life is not a struggle," he continued

"Life is nothing but a cycle, and cycling through life should never be a push, or a struggle for you. The cycle of life is continuously sweet, but is only ever seen in this way by your never pushing, but by allowing life itself to gently move you into its own cycle for you," my son.

Dhou upon hearing these uplifting words was recycled again, and so in another word he was finally enlightened.

Dhou became very well-known after this all across the country.

For the next sixty years of his long life, he was known as the, recycled Zen Master.

This was because he was often seen riding along a road somewhere or another, still on his old mother's tandem bike, always insisting that he be up the front of the bike, and that his student be at the rear.

Dhou always knew by this testing of a new student if his new student was really cycling for life, for mastership, or still only for himself.

This was how he himself chose his own students in exactly the same way as the old master had chosen him, and he had never known this until twenty five long years had already cycled by as he continued to cycle along beside life, rather than in life.

The old Zen master had already chosen him as his successor right from their very first meeting.

Dhou had been a passenger in life, rather than a real participant, and a cycler through the cycles of life, while not really ever really cycling himself.

He was cycling without cycling, doing without doing, and being without being.

Some further comments about the Zen philosophy mentioned here

This message comes to us from the Zen way of life. This most worthy of lessons is perhaps true of all things here on the Earth, except for the greatest thing of them all.

We should never love without loving. We should love through loving.

God is sending us his love at all times and we must recycle it through ourselves by receiving it fully and then giving it back out again more fully because we have added ourselves, our love to his love.

This is loving by loving. Increasing the love in the world and in God's Universe and growing deeply into that love.

This is love's cycle. Love is forever pedalling itself forward, as at the same time it is also spiralling upwards. Hop onto God's bicycle of love and ride along with love by cycling for God by cycling for yourself, by being yourself freely, which is indeed the only and best way of cycling through life.

The cycle went on for Dhou and it always goes on continuously for us all in this way too.

Do we cycle for life, or are we just cycling for ourselves?

As a boy Dhou used to cycle along by not cycling, but he wasn't really cycling at all.

Until he cycled along by really not just cycling, but now really cycling, by his allowing himself to be recycled through the extra awareness that he eventually gained that he was still cycling, but at the same that he was really not just cycling, he was not yet a part of the real cycle.

Dhou took that long to become enlightened. He had to get off of his own cycle. He had to stop allowing other people to carry him along too. Dhou had to cycle himself within the cycle that included him in it as well. Dhou had to ride the cycle that life had provided for only him to ride. This was being himself within the oneness of life.

Here is an old saying, adapted slightly to finish this article with.

"We see bicycles as bicycles at the beginning of our journey. And then later on we find that bicycles are not just bicycles after all. Then even later still as we start to be really recycled in our thinking and so too then in our vision, we finally once more see again, that bicycles are really only just bicycles after all. We know then that indeed they always were."

The original version of this saying is of course this one:

"Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters."


Buddhism, Short Stories, Short Story, Zen, Zen Master

Meet the author

author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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author avatar Helen Thomas
18th May 2014 (#)

Thanks for sharing ~ Spirited. As you said and what a joy for us to realize and understand that: "God is sending us his love at all times..." *** Continued blessings to you!

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author avatar spirited
19th May 2014 (#)

thanks Helen, we are all blessed by such love, at all times

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
19th May 2014 (#)

are you a zen Buddhist spirited ?

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author avatar spirited
19th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Stella.

No, I just like their teaching stories, and I like to create them for myself too.

I like too learn what I can from all religions.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
28th May 2014 (#)

Very deep thoughts as well nicely written my friend!

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author avatar spirited
28th May 2014 (#)

thanks Fern, We all need to ride our own bikes!

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