I missed class again today. I just felt too crummy to motivate my old keister to class.
I was thinking about a story from my "Zen Years" which comes from a story in The Three Pillars Of Zen by Philip Kapleau about Enyadatta...
Enyadatta was a beautiful maiden who enjoyed nothing more than gazing at herself in the mirror each morning. One day when she looked into her mirror she found no head reflected there. The shock was so great that she became frantic, rushing around demanding to know who had taken her head. Though everyone told her, “Don’t be silly, your head is on your shoulders where it has always been,” she refused to believe it and continued her frenzied search.
EnyadattaHere I will interject a commentary from Roshi Yasutani before proceeding with the allegory:
This “head,” of course, corresponds to the Buddha-nature, to our innate perfection. That they even have a Buddha-nature never occurs to most people until they hear Shujo honrai hotoke nari — “All beings are endowed with Buddha-nature from the very first.” Suddenly they exclaim, “Then I too must have the Buddha-nature! But where is it?” Thus like Enyadatta when she first missed her head and started rushing about looking for it, they commence their search for their True-nature.
Back to Enyadatta’s tale:
At length her friends, believing her mad, dragged her home and tied her to a pillar to prevent her harming herself.
Slowly her friends persuaded her that she had always had her head, and gradually she came to half-believe it. Her subconscious mind began to accept the fact that perhaps she was deluded in thinking she had lost her head.
Suddenly one of her friends gave her a terrific clout on the head, upon which, in pain and shock, she yelled “Ouch!”
“That’s your head! There it is!” her friend exclaimed, and immediately Enyadatta saw that she had deluded herself into thinking she had lost her head when in fact she had always had it.
When this happened to Enyadatta she was so elated that she rushed around exclaiming, “Oh, I’ve got it! I have my head after all! I’m so happy!”