A Koan about a Tree

lone tree
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevincollins/115305184/">Kevin Collins</a>

Luke 6:43-44

You don’t get bad fruit from a good tree. You don’t get good fruit from a bad tree.

Every tree bears a specific kind of fruit. You don’t get figs from thorns. You don’t get grapes from briars.

Here’s another koan.

It may be tempting to use it as a measure for assessing the good and bad in others, and to try to figure out what kind of “tree” they are.

Avoid this. The koan is not about anyone else. It’s to help you figure out what kind of tree you are.

Be the One You’re Looking For

man in a balance
Image credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/4058605601/">Hartwig HKD</a>

Matthew 13:45

Here’s another way to say it: The goal is like a company’s purchasing agent, looking for the next great thing. She finds the deal of the century and uses every penny of the company’s reserved assets to buy it.

Like yesterday’s koan, you still need to be aware enough to recognize what is really valuable, and you still need to be courageous enough to act on what you know.

But unlike yesterday’s koan, this koan makes a subtle shift. Instead of the goal being the thing that is sought and bought, the goal is now the person doing the seeking and buying. In other words, the goal is no longer obtaining or having something, but being someone.

Put the two together, and you get – yet another koan. The goal is the object of the seeker, and the goal is the seeker of the object.

Did that blow your mind?