Friday, August 18, 2006

There is music in words

The clear tone of a temple bell echoes across the early morning Monk Ki reflects.

If you take a piece of metal and pount it with a hammer it clanks. If you take that same metal and form it into a cylinder it will ring. If you furter refine it into the shape of a “bell, it truly sings. Off, you just put an empty hole in the middle and the sound becomes ethereal.

Monk Ki struggles off of his cushion and runs to Master Ho Ha’s door. He waits. A small bell rings. He enters.

Master Ho Ha sits on his cushion, his shape resembling the Libery Bell in Philadelphia. Is he cracked too?

“What is your practice?” Master Ho Ha bellows.

“I watch my breath.” Monk Ki wonders why the old fool keeps asking this question and he keeps giving the same answer. Perhaps Master Ho Ha has a bad memory.

“So what’s it to be this morning, Monk Ki?”

“I want to know about the emptiness inside a bell.”

“Have you found the emptiness inside yourself?”


“Then why do you wonder about bells?”

“Because they sound so wonderful.”

“Find your emptiness first and then listen to your words.”

Master Ho Ha leans down and rings the little bell beside his cushion to dismiss Monk Ki. He almost smiles.