‘Put your hands on the top of your heads’

I have come across a very beautiful Zen story. Listen to it attentively; it is your story.

Behind a temple there was a field where a lot of squashes (vegetables of the gourd family) were ripening. One day a fight started. Now, you know, squashes are squashes… a great fight.

The squashes split into two groups and made a big racket, shouting at each other. And, of course, they used to live in a temple; they were growing in a temple, so those two groups must have been religious: Christian and Jew, Buddhist and Jaina, Hindu and Mohammedan – something like that.

A great theological debate arose. The head priest heard the uproar. He yelled and scolded them saying, “Hey, you squashes! The idea of fighting among yourselves! And in a Zen temple?! Everyone do Zazen! Sit silently doing nothing.”

The priest taught them how to do Zazen: “Fold your legs like this; sit up and straighten your back and neck.”

Osho – “The Path of Love”

Zazen, which literally means ‘sitting meditation,’  is the primary form of Zen meditation, conducted seated in the lotus position.