The following book is a compilation of many different ways of approaching the topic of Zen.
The first section is a selection of fictional "koans" that concern the monks living at the Dog Buddha Temple monastery. Inspired by the actual records of Zen monks, these are extremely short accounts of the interactions that the monks have and said koans at are times literary, humorous, spiritual, and bizarre.
The second section consists of a few essays that address some fundamental Zen concerns while also relating these to more general social considerations.
The third section of the book comprises a series of haiku.
The fourth section is free verse poetry.
The fifth and last section is a few assorted aphorisms.
The Savageness of Brothers
Several of the monks were reclining in the garden one day. Yang Jing was writing a letter while Yu Yi and Fu Dao played with a captured tarantula and Shi Xiao raked the sand pit. Old Man Wu and Wee Wang were also there, playing a game of Go in the shade of the trees. Taking a break from his task, Yang Jing looked over at the two men focused on their board game and started to sing.
Wee Wang was a barbarian
Wee Wang lived like a beast
Wee Wang spat on his hands
Wee Wang pissed on his feet
This angered Shi Xiao.
“You’re wilder than he ever was Yang Jing. You’re the wildest of all. But for the cultivation of compassion towards small creatures, I would throw our brother’s own tarantula at you.”
“Wrong!” shouted Old Man Wu. Then he stood up, marched over to Fu Dao as he held the bristling tarantula, snatched it up, and stuffed the animal in his underwear before nonchalantly leaving the garden.
“He has achieved full non-mastery,” remarked Yu Yi.
“No,” disagreed Shi Xiao. “That’s just called eating the noodle raw,”