Scattered to the Four Winds

It's from silence, not from tempest, that wise ideas emerge.

An AI-generated painting in traditional Japanese style of a student and a Master.
Student and Master. Image generated with AI by DALL-E.

A student came to see a Master, and said: “Master, I have so much work to do. We just had a meeting in our company — my boss calls it a ‘brain-storm’ — to come up with ideas for the future. He has asked me to put them all in writing.”

“I see,” said the Master. “So, are you overwhelmed by the whirlwind of ideas?”

“Not exactly, Master. There was a lot of talk, but the ideas, once written down, seem few and shallow. I need to do a lot of dressing up in my report to not displease my boss.”

“I see,” said the Master. “And what becomes of those ideas?”

“Nothing, Master,” said the student. “They are forgotten once we return to our daily duties. It is an excercise in muda, Master, if I may say so. I’d like to know, how could our meetings be more useful?”

The Master smiled, but did not speak. The student, though surprised, did not dare to break the silence, and quietly waited for the Master’s answer.

The Sun descended, the wind laid down, and the birds took to their nests. A profound tranquillity set in.

At that moment, the student was Enlightened.

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