Zen Master Hakuin Speaks

Only a few hundred yards from here is a beach.

Suppose someone is bothered because he has never tasted sea water and decides to sample some.

He sets out in the direction of the beach, but before he has gone a hundred paces he stops and comes back.

He starts out again, but this time he returns after he has taken only ten steps.

He will never get to know the taste of sea water that way, will he?

But if he keeps going straight ahead without turning back, even if he lives far inland in a landlocked province such as Shinano, Kai, Hida, or Mino, he will eventually reach the sea.

By dipping his finger in the water and tasting it, he will know instantly the taste of sea water the world over, because it is of course the same everywhere, in India, China, the southern sea or the northern sea.

Hakuin Ekaku (白隠 慧鶴, January 19, 1686 – January 18, 1768) was one of the most influential figures in Japanese Zen Buddhism.

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