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Chapter 29: Where the Positive and Negative Meet

At this response the Master was immensely delighted. The Master is always delighted whenever a disciple comes back home. The delight of the Master knows no bounds, as if he becomes enlightened again! More perfection is added to his already perfect being. He needed nothing to be added to him, but each time a disciple flares up into awareness, becomes aflame, the Master feels as if he has again become enlightened.

The Master was immensely delighted, and the very delight of the Master became the occasion of Basho’s enlightenment. Seeing the delighted face of the Master, seeing the aura of his joy, the nod of his consent - or maybe he said nothing - his silence showering on the disciple as grace, Basho became enlightened! What a moment to become enlightened! Thousands of people have become enlightened in the past, but the way Basho became enlightened is simply unique. Because the Master was delighted, the very delight of the Master penetrated his heart like a sword. Flowers showered on him, because the Master must have smiled.. The unheard music was heard because the Master must have looked at him with joy, with blessing.

I don’t know, but Buko must have danced or done something crazy like that. The enlightenment of a disciple is no small matter.

Later on, Basho continued to polish the haiku like a diamond. For his whole life he continued to polish it - because this is a rare phenomenon, this small haiku:

The old pond
Frog jumps in
The sound of water.

It was because of this that his own process of enlightenment was triggered. He continued to polish it like a diamond. He continued to cut it and give it more and more depth.

He added: The old pond. The first statement was only:

Frog jumps in
The sound of water.

Later on he added: The old pond. My feeling is that the old pond must have insisted on being included. And the old pond had every right to be included - without the old pond there would have been no frog, no jumping in, no sound of water - Basho owed much to the old pond. He included it.

Now the haiku became:

The old pond
Frog jumps in
The sound of water.

And still later on, he dropped the words “of water.”

Now the haiku was not so perfect as before, but more complete than before. Now it was:

The old pond
Frog jumps in
The sound

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