A bowl of milk is placed on the ground. A cat is invited to drink. As he does, a poor man walks by. He gazes at the milk longingly. The cat looks up and the cat is like... I don't think so, lol.

The koan: "Not Far From Buddhahood"

A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."

The enlightenment: "I guess probably Jesus said it," the student replied.

"Well," said Gasan, "like I said, then, it sounds like he's not very from Buddhahood."

"Ok...... " said the student. Both men sat in silence for some time. Finally the student said, "What does 'Buddhahood' mean?"

Gasan squirmed uncomfortably. "It means... ah... to asketh receiveth, seeketh findeth, knocketh, and, uh..."

"Are you reading a tiny Bible right now?"

Gasan leapt up and ran away.

This has been "Zen Koans Explained." A walk on the side of ever tinier cone.

[Photo: Shutterstock]