Message from Henry: Ferries

It wouldn’t make sense to keep venturing forth in different craft. Better to board one ferry and get over the water.

Master Sheng Yen said he had met students who went to many masters, thinking they could get more that way, as if each teacher could give them one dollar, so if they saw ten they would have ten dollars. Whereas in fact the teacher is more like a physician, and if you receive treatments from ten different doctors for the same ailment, they may well not combine well, and healing won’t happen.

Another traditional metaphor is of crossing to the other shore. It wouldn’t make sense to keep venturing forth in different craft. Better to board one ferry and get over the water. Beforehand, you might sample two or three different vessels, and afterwards you may be interested to know about other ferries performing a similar service. But if you keep making little trips along the riverbank in a variety of vessels, that is no way to cross over. You have to board one, and go.

It’s all the harder, though, because we don’t really know that there is another shore, since we can’t see it. So we don’t even really know what “the other shore” means. We can have at best a vague and confused conception of it. Only once we’ve crossed do we realize.


Message from Henry is from our February 12, 2018 Newsletter
Image: Adriatic Sea by Thomas Warm, from FreeImages.com
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