zen-circle.jpg One day, Baso, a Zen student, was doing Zazen, sitting meditation. Then, Nagaku, a Zen master, came to the place where Baso was doing Zazen. The teacher asked Baso, “What are you doing?”
Baso answered, “I am doing zazen. I am trying to become a Buddha.”
Then, the Zen master Nagaku picked up a piece of clay tile—a tile made of dirt—and started to polish it up. Seeing this, Baso asked the teacher, “Zen master, what are you doing?”
The master answered, “I am trying to transform this clay tile into a shining mirror.” The student was surprised and said, “Oh, my teacher, how could you transform a clay tile into a brightly shining mirror? How is it possible to make a mirror out of a clay tile?”
Then, the teacher immediately said, “But aren’t you doing the same thing? Aren’t you trying to transform yourself into a Buddha? If I cannot transform a tile make of dirt into a shining mirror, how could you transform yourself into a Buddha? How could you become a Buddha?”