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zen and the art of burglary  

2008-04-03 07:38:28|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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If people ask me what Zen is like, I will say that it is like learning the art of burglary. The son of a burglar saw his father growing older and thought, "If he is unable to carry on his profession, who will be the breadwinner of the family, except myself? I must learn the trade." He intimated the idea to his father, who approved of it.
One night the father took the son to a big house, broke through the fence, entered the house, and, opening one of the large chests, told the son to go in and pick out the clothing, as soon as the son get into it, the father dropped the lid and securely applied the lock. The father now came out to the courtyard and loudly knocked at the door, waking up the whole family; then he quietly slipped away by the hole in the fence.
The residents got excited and lighted candles, but they found that the burglar had already gone.
The son, who remained all the time securely confined in the chest, thought of his cruel father. He was greatly mortified, then a fine idea flashed upon him. He made a noise like the gnawing of a rat. The family told the maid to take a candle and examine the chest. When the lid was unlocked, out came the prisoner, who blew out the light, pushed away the maid, and fled. The people ran after him. Noticing a well by the road, he picked up a large stone and threw it into the water. The pursuers all gathered around the well trying to find the burglars drowning himself in the dark hole.
In the meantime he went safely back to his father's house. He blamed his father deeply for this narrow escape. Said the father, "be not offended my son. Just tell me how you got out of it." When the son told him all about his adventures, the father remarked, "There you are, you have learned the art."

mortify 使丢脸,使经受羞辱
gnaw (用牙齿)咬,啃

禅宗与盗窃艺术
  如果有人问我禅宗是什么,我会告诉他禅宗就像是盗窃艺术。窃贼的儿子看着他的父亲一天天变老,心想,“要是父亲不能继续他的行当,除了我之外还有谁能承担起养家糊口的重任呢?我要学会这门手艺。”他把自己的这个想法给父亲说了,父亲同意了。
  一天晚上,父亲把儿子带到了一座大房子,钻过篱笆进入了房子。父亲打开一个大柜子,吩咐儿子进去偷些衣服出来。儿子刚进去,父亲就盖上了柜子的盖子,并牢牢地锁上了柜子。他来到院子里,大声地敲门,把这家人全给吵醒了。接着,父亲悄悄地从篱笆的洞里钻了出去。惊慌失措的这家人点亮了蜡烛,却发现窃贼已经跑掉了。
  儿子一直被牢牢地锁在柜子里,想着他那无情的父亲。他感到受了屈辱。突然一个点子闪现在他的脑海中。他发出了老鼠咬柜子的声音,这家人就吩咐女仆拿着蜡烛去查看柜子。女仆一打开柜子的盖子,里面的躲着的人就跳了出来,吹灭蜡烛,推开女仆,逃走了。人们在后面追赶。他看到路边有一口井,搬起一块大石头,丢到了井里。追赶者都聚集在井边,想看看窃贼是不是掉进黑洞洞的井里淹死了。
  这时候,他安全地回到了他父亲的房子。他斥责他父亲说他差点没能活着回来。父亲说,“儿呀,别生气,告诉我你怎么逃出来的。”
听完儿子讲述了历险经历,父亲说,“现在好了,你已经学会了盗窃这门艺术。”

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