28 February 2002

The story of Banzan

Do you know the story of Banzan? Before he became a great Zen master, he spent many years in the pursuit of enlightenment, but it eluded him. Then one day, as he was walking in the marketplace, he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer. “Give me the best piece of meat you have,” said the customer. Andt he butcher replied, “Every piece of meat I have is the best. There is no piece of meat here that is not the best.” Upon hearing this, Bazan became enlightened.

I can see you are waiting for some explanation. When you accept what is, every piece of meat—every moment—is the best. That is enlightenment. (Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, 161)