‘Someone said Buddhism is like a toothache. When you are attracted by Buddhism, you go to the temple, listen to the monks lecture, give up your pleasure and time, buy books and bring them home, read them without sleeping, spend your life – ten, fifteen, twenty years – and in the end realize, “I was all right in the beginning; there was nothing to gain.”
Well, the toothache is over, isn’t it? When the tooth is aching, you run amok. But when the pain is removed, you just smile to yourself and say, “It’s over.”
I feel the same way. I went through terrific agony studying Zen. I lost everything I had, and I gained nothing. But this gained nothing is wonderful, and I am satisfied.’ (Zen Pivots)
Reading this passage again, I knew I had posted it before, but it seemed too good to pass up for another airing.