Wiping a Buddha's Ass
In Zen Master Hakuin's group there was a crazy monk who thought
he had realized the identity of self and Buddha. He tore up Buddhist
scriptures and used the pages for toilet paper. Other monks took
him to task for this, but he paid no attention, haughtily retorting,
"What's wrong with using Buddhist scriptures to wipe a Buddhist's
Now someone repeated this to master Hakuin, who asked the crazy
monk, "They say you are using Buddhist scriptures for toilet
paper. Is this so?
"The crazy monk said, "Yes, I myself am a Buddha. What
is wrong with using Buddhist scriptures to wipe a Buddha's ass?"
Hakuin said. "You're wrong. Since it's a Buddha's ass why
use old paper with writing on it? You should wipe it with clean
The crazy monk was ashamed and he apologized.
Sometimes we become attached to something that doesn't really support
our message but we can't bear to part with it. We may have developed
some personal investment that blinds our better judgment. Be aware
when it comes to your own subjective preferences. It
will better help you tell the difference between truth and bias.
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