PRAYER FLAG

Some monks were sitting quietly in the garden of a Buddhist monastery on a calm, beautiful day. The prayer flag on the roof started fluttering and flapping in a breeze. A young monk observed: “Flag is flapping.” Another monk said: “Wind is flapping the flag.” The Chan master Hui-neng (whom Southern School Chan regards as 6th Patriarch), overhearing the two monks talking, declared: “It is your minds that are flapping.” Centuries later another famous Chan monk, Wu-men Hui-k’ai (1183-1260), commented on this episode: “Flag, wind, minds flapping. Several mouths were flapping!”

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