"... from diamonds nothing is born, the flowers come from manure".

The Zen tradition is rich with symbolic references to the garden and that’s why it is so fascinating to me. Let's start with a Zen story. A great monk teacher uses most of his time in the "low" activity of removing weeds. Weeds grow every day. His best student begins to doubt his master’s wisdom until, taken by anxiety and doubt, he asks his master: "Why do not use your time in more useful activity than removing weeds that will continue to grow the following day?".

Answer: "I am grateful to weeds so every day they give me a good reason to spend my time." In this case, the weeds symbolize the problems and difficulties of life. In one of the greatest existential Zen paradoxes, it is made clear that it is true that "weeds" grow continuously, but it is our duty to clean them up daily. More that that, the wise man performs this cleaning in an increasingly accurate way and through a careful study of the self, is able to find imperfections and clean them. As the great Bernie Glassman (famous contemporary Zen master) said: when everything seems perfect "new shit comes to light." In perfect contemporary Zen style, weeds are the shit that resurfaces every time it seems it has been tamed. The meaning does not change. I am happy to call myself self an apprentice domator of shit! This body with its intense fragrance is perfect when used as fertilizer as well as another great contemporary poet, F. De André, in his famous verse he wrote: "... from diamonds nothing is born, the flowers come from manure". In a single sentence, Zen always sweeps away those who hide behind non-duality without having really understood it. If you think that because everything is one and part of the great Universe, you can lazily stay on a sofa, Zen says: "All is One but every day I go down into the garden, I remove the weeds and leave the flowers ".


 
 



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