Speculation vs Contemplation
I was browsing the stories on 101 Zen Stories and stumbled on this short gem…
Your Light May Go Out
A student of Tendai, a philosophical school of Buddhism, came to the Zen abode of Gasan as a pupil. When he was departing a few years later, Gasan warned him: “Studying the truth speculatively is useful as a way of collecting preaching material. But remember that unless you meditate constantly you light of truth may go out.”
Simply, the story says to me that speculating, and assuming we know the “way” can be rather harmful. Doing so builds up wrongful views in which we attach our thoughts to without truly pondering the meaning behind our assumptions.
I know, for me, without meditation, things can become very one sided. There are bouts of time that I go without meditation and it hurts my practice. I may read something and think “bing, that’s the right idea, they said it, it’s fact.” I do this without contemplation, but speculating that said person is learned enough to go along with what they say.
With that, it’s off to go sit…