Monday, April 4, 2011

Do You Understand Your Job?

From Sweeping Zen:

I’ve been reading a lovely book by Richard Shrobe (Zen Master Wu Kwang) who is the guiding teacher of the Chogye International Zen Center of New York. It’s called “Elegant Failure, a guide to Zen koans.” The book contains a selection of koans, and Mr. Shrobe notes that in his Korean tradition, talks on a koan are opened with a four-line presentation encapsulating the koan. The final lines reveal the essence.

In one of his presentations, he completes the introductory phrases with the following:

A dog understands a dog’s job.

A cat understands a cat’s job.

Do you understand your job?

This struck me as the most basic question we can put to ourselves, greater even than the familiar “Who am I?” Indeed, who I am is deeply entwined with my job in this life, whatever that may be. For we are what we do even more profoundly than what we think or feel. So how am I to understand my job?...

Continue reading at Sweeping Zen.

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