Friday, November 02, 2007

echoless valley

Monk Ki sets off on a journey. In one of Master Ho Ha's lecture his teacher had mentioned the echoless valley. That phrase stirred Mink Ki's thoughts. How can there be an echoless valley?

Ah, poor Monk Ki. He never read the Seven Women Sutra. But Monk Ki isn't that well-read. He has a hard enough time trying to wake up. But if he ever gets the opportunity, no doubt, it will confound him.

The weather promises changes just as the teacher stated so our intrepid traveler grabs his warmest robe, his tea cup and a hat for his shaved head. He is not prepared but he sets off. Not having access to the internet or a fancy GPS device there are only two ways to find the right path. Ask directions and guess. Monk Ki being a man prefers the latter.

Dusk descends on the first day with cold winds an autumn moon and an owl in a tree announcing the emptiness of the forest. Monk Ki calls out in response to the owl's query- "Who?"

"It's me! Monk Ki!"

The mountainside of the other side of the valley responds: "Monk Ki Monk Ki Monk Ki Ki Ki Ki."

And so the first night grows darker as he pulls his robes up around his ears and thinks, "I should have brought some matches."

"The cold is emptiness. Emptiness is cold." His shout breaks forth. The echo responds: "Cold Cold Cold Cold cold cold cold."

"Even the mountain knows."