Name: Brother Tashan
Excerpt from "Pond Ripples - Conversations with a Master"
"... and that is still my greatest obstacle in my flow of thoughts, towards the place
in my mind which will unlock."
The old Master regarded me without any change to his face.
"I know not what to do, Master. I feel lost and a failure." I remember hoping for
any guidance the Master could give, which would help me in my efforts, but I also
knew that Grandmaster Tashan had always been reluctant to share his own experiences
on the matter.
"Focus is only attained through the Paradoxes that surround us. To Focus you must
Focus on the Paradox." quoted the old Master.
"I know our mantras, Master. But those are just words." I said, letting my
frustrations shine through."I have tried to understand how to focus but I am,
perhaps, not suited for this endavour."
"You seem to focus a lot on words, my young friend, which is good", the old man
remarked, "but perhaps your concerns are not focused on the most useful property of
His speech did nothing but confuse me even more."How do you mean, Master? I do not
understand - what property?"
"Well, words are like ripples in our pond of conscience. They have a meaning and
like pond ripples they expand. And when meeting obstacles in the mirrored surface of
the water, they change and reflect the Heavens differently, distorted if you please.
Some would say they change their meaning or what they refer to, as we ourselves,
progress in life."
"That might very well be master, but I still do not understand."
"My point is, that whatever words reflect or refer to is but one of their
properties. Perhaps the least important one, even." His gaze met my eyes. "Words
are also the contraints of our conceptions. They dictate the boundaries of our
understanding - of our mind."
I knew the Master had a point - so he had said - but it somehow eluded me.
"Consider the still surface of a lake. Imagine the perfect reflection of the Heavens
it casts, and perhaps my analogy will make more sense to you."
Sense - how I had come to hate that word. Yes, his point made "sense", but sense was
not what i was looking for. It was the "how" which was escaping me. He was still
looking at me.
"For you to Focus, your pond cannot have any ripples in it." The old man smiled with
enthusiasm. "For I tell you, this world has enough people with too many pond ripples
in their understandings." His smile grew to a grin only to raise my level of frustration even further.
"But how do i go about it?!"
"As ripples mature in their brief exsistance, so does their ability to distort and
lead you astray - you must unwill the distortions they build. You must rid the
surface of your pond from the ripples that have been built throughout your life.
Unwill the assumed knowledge that you have accumulated, for it is that very
knowledge which confines you in your cemented perception of the universe."
"You mean, I should attempt to tear down my castle of old beliefs?" The metaphor was
ill chosen and desperate, but lost in my growing anger I was trying to show off on
"No... I dont." The old Master said, still smiling.
"Tearing down is an expression which denotes action and hence it implies a subject
performing the action - an ego if you will. And it is the ego part that we strive to
undo and deconstruct." He regarded me with attentive eyes and his smile took on a
"I mean like un-building a castle - having it away as a passive choice because you
know, that it is but a word implying a specific pattern to your senses."
I finally lost my composure completely. "Choice is also a word that implies
Calmly he continued: "Hence the term passive choice."
"But making a choice without wanting, is simply not doable, it is impossible !! It
is non-sensical paradoxes!! both the choice making and the tearing down without
"Ahhh... paradoxes...", the old man said with poorly hidden content, "and we cant
have those, now can we?"
I felt myself wanting to continue my charge, but stopped. Something started to
change. My mind paused and in the border of my conscience I felt a stir. Almost not
there - but something inside me was no longer the same.
The Words of his Friends: