Zen: At this very moment

     Let me conclude with a sermon from Goso (Wu Tsu), of who mention has already been made:
    "If people ask me what Zen is like I will say that it is like learning the art of burglary.  The son of a burglar saw his father growing older and thought: "If he is unable to carry out his profession, who will be the bread-winner of this family, except myself?  I must learn the trade."  He intimated the idea to his father, who approved of it.  One night the father took the son to a big house, broke through the fence, entered the house, and opened one of the large chests, told the son to go in and picked out the clothing.  As soon as he got into the lid was dropped and the lock securely applied.  The father now came out to the courtyard, and loudly knocking at the door that woke up the whole family, whereas he himself quietly slipped away by the former hole in the fence.  The residents got excited and lighted candles, but found that the burglars had already gone.  The son, who remained all the time in the chest securely confined, thought of his cruel father.  He was greatly mortified, when a fine idea flashed upon him.  He made a noise that sounded like the gnawing of a rat.  The family told the maid to take a candle and examine the chest.  When the lid was unlocked, out came the prisoner, who blew out the light, pushed away the maid and fled.  The people ran after him.  Noticing a well by the road, he picked up a large stone and threw it into the water.  The pursuers all gathered around the well trying to find the burglar drowning himself in the dark hole.  In the meantime, he was safely back in his father's house.  He blamed him very much for his narrow escape. Said the father: "Be not offended, my son.  Just tell me how you got off."  When the son told him all about his adventures, the father remarked, "There you are, you have learned the art!"

     Excerpt from essays in Zen Buddhism, written by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki