Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1 — No Sword School

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1

 

 

There was a very great Samurai—no less than Miyamoto Musashi. He was taking a ferry boat across Lake Biwa. After he had gotten on the boat, suddenly a drunken Samurai came bouncing aboard. He looked at Miyamoto and said, “Ha! I see you’re a Samurai. What’s your school?”

He [Miyamoto] said, “A no sword school.”

He [Drunken Samurai] said, “Hahaha.” (The boat had taken off by this time and going across the water) “No sword school. What a thing. What a thing. I’ll try out your no sword school.” (and he drew his sword) “Come on!”

Miyamoto said, “No, no, no. Wait a minute, there are a lot of people around on this boat and if we start fighting, somebody might get hurt. Why don’t we go over to that island there, and we can fight there.”

So he said to the ferryman, “Row over to that island.”

So they went over to the island and this drunken samurai was all ready to get into a fight and he jumped off the boat onto the island and quickly Miyamoto grabbed the oar from the ferryman and pushed the boat out into the water and left him [Drunken Samurai] stranded there.

He [Miyamoto] said, “You see my no sword school.”

Another time, there was a famous master called Suibi. He was asked, “What is the secret teaching of Buddhism?” He was asked this in the lecture hall where other monks were studying. “Wait until there’s no one around, and I’ll tell you.”

Later in the day, the monk accosted him, “There’s nobody around now. What is the secret teaching of Buddhism?”

So he went into the garden of this monk, and he pointed at the bamboos. He [the monk] said, “I don’t understand.”

He [Master Suibi] said, “What a tall on that is. What a short one that is. And this awakened the monk.”

Whenever a questioner used to come to Sri Ramana, the great Hindu sage who died a few years ago, they said to him, “Master, was I living before in a previous incarnation? If so, who was I.”

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1

He would say, “Who is asking the question? Who are you?”

An experiential teacher in both Hinduism and Buddhism is a kind of…well what he does to awaken you, to get you out of the hallucination of the skin encapsulated ego—he bugs you in some way. He has a funny look in his eye, as if to say, “Come off it Shiva. I know what you’re doing.”

“What me?”

He looks at you in a funny way.

There was once a woodcutter working in a clearing in a forest, when he saw a strange animal peeking at him from behind a bush. Thinking to have this animal for dinner, he rushed at it with his ax. The animal laughed from the opposite side of the clearing because this animal has the power to read thoughts.

Therefore, wherever the woodsman intended to go, the animal read his thought first. So the animal began to talk and mocked him and said you think I’m going to be at this place next. The woodsman naturally thought when I see him next, I’ll go to the opposite side of the clearing.

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1

So this went on until the woodsman got absolutely furious!

He returned to chopping the wood. The animal laughed and said, “So you’ve given up.”

Just at that moment, he wanged the ax against the tree, the head flew off and struck the animal dead.

That’s the way you have to attain Zen.

The most dangerous graven images are not those which are made of wood and stone. They are those which are made of ideas.

It is well known to the great mystical tradition of the world, all over the world, that the supreme vision can only come when you have got rid of every idea of God, whatsoever.

It would be like—as I’ve often used this image—cleaning a window on which somebody has painted blue sky. To see the sky, you have to step out of the painting.

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1

Why are you trying to be unselfish?

I want to be on the other side of the battalions. I think it’s going to pay better to be unselfish than to be selfish. Well, Luther saw that. There it is. What he has done, you see, he is beginning to make you see the unreality. The hallucinatory quality of a separate self. This has merely conventional reality in the same sense that lines of latitude and longitude, the measurements of the clock. That is why one of the meanings of Maya, the illusion, is measurement.

Things, for example, are measurements. They are units of thought, like inches are units of measurement. There are no things in physical nature.

 

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 2

 

Alan Watts Chillstep Mix 1

 

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