“Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. “Childlikeness” has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness.

When this is attained, man thinks yet he does not think. He thinks like the showers coming down from the sky; he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean; he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens; he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze. Indeed, he is the showers, the ocean, the stars, the foliage.

When a man reaches this stage of “spiritual” development, he is a Zen artist of life. He does not need, like the painter, a canvas, brushes, and paints; nor does he require, like the archer, the bow and arrow and target, and other paraphernalia.

He has his limbs, body, head, and other parts. His Zen-life expresses itself by means of all these “tools” which are important to its manifestation. His hands and feet are the brushes and the whole universe is the canvas on which he depicts his life for seventy, eighty, or even ninety years. This picture is called “history.”

~D.T. Suzuki

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