Last Things (from dictionary.com)
Story adapted from Uchiyama’s Opening the Hand of Thought:
In a field behind a little farmhouse, there was a squash patch. One day the squash began to fight among themselves and the arguing grew so vicious that they split into two factions. The Squash On the Trough yelled and called the Squash in the Box names. The whole thing got so out of hand that the farmhouse priestess came out and spoke sharply to them (in a compassionate sharp voice, of course).
“Settle down, all of you! Do you want time out in the back room?” Knowing there was a sesshin coming up and having heard stories of what she did to squash in her back room, they settled quickly. She took advantage of their obedience and decided to teach them how to sit zazen. After a little while when they became calm and solid, she said, “All right! All of you, reach up and touch the top of your head.”
When the squash touched the top of their head they found something attached there that stretched out into the garden. As they explored it, they discovered it was the vine that connected them all together!
How silly, they said to each other.
We’re all tied together and living just one life.
Something for the curriculum in cultivating little Bodhisattvas…
Thank you for practicing,