There was chaos at No Wind Monastery. The monks were running scared and the cause of their fear was none other than the head abbot, Zen Master Blumise. They all knew that the only monk who could help them in such desperate times was senior monk Tara, and the monks were running around frantically trying to find her.
Finally, a group located her sitting by the river enjoying the late afternoon sun.
“What’s all this ruckus about?” she asked, rather alarmed at seeing a gang of anxious monks approaching her. “And why is one side of each of your faces red?” she continued, noticing the glowing redness on the left cheek of every monk.
“Master Blumise has lost his marbles,” replied Chin. “He is running around the monastery asking everyone what time is it? And as soon as you tell him the time, he gives you one tight slap and moves on to the next victim. In fact, he has slapped monk Gzan twice today already, see both his cheeks are red!” Chin exclaimed, while pointing out Gzan’s very red face.
“The old bugger is still pretty strong,” muttered Gzan.
Just then a very irritated Master Blumise burst onto the scene.
“Tara!” he yelled, “What time is it?”
Tara looked up calmly, smiled and said, “The time is now, Master,” and that was the end of that. Master Blumise bowed deeply to his beloved student and left the now awakened congregation of monks to reflect on this right answer.
- Why does Master Blumise call this the “right” answer?
- Do you agree with Master Blumise? Why or why not?
- How might your life be different if you knew you would live forever?
- What if you knew you’d die one month from now?