Does the moon call upon the gnat to move the mountain to the sea?
You’ve been practicing for awhile now, and some of your friends are starting to be concerned. Have you been co-opted by a cult? Are you about to fly off to Nepal with a one-way ticket? Have you changed your will to leave everything to the local Zen center? Have you (gulp) changed?
They may start asking you questions—just what is it that you’ve gotten yourself into? How do you know you aren’t being brainwashed? What does Zen teach, anyway? Rather than try to answer them directly, you’ll sound much cooler and wiser if you respond to their well-meaning questions with one of these tried-and-true all-purpose no-answer answers. It also saves you the bother of actually thinking.
1: Your question comes from the relative world, but now I inhabit the realm of the absolute.
2. Does the moon call upon the gnat to move the mountain to the sea?
3. As the Buddha said to Ananda, a flower is not a flower, a tree is not a tree.
4. Is the finger that points to the moon, the moon?
5. The Buddha’s teachings have lasted for near 3000 years, they have been verified by time.
6. Only when you have practiced as long as I have will you understand.
7. Your question tells me you are still asleep. Come back when you are awake.
8. Words are inadequate to answer your question
9. He who knows does not say, he who says does not know. So I will remain silent.
10. You already know the answer to your question.