I have heard:
A Zen monk, Rinzai, was passing from a marketplace. He was near the shop of a butcher, and a customer was asking the shopkeeper, “Give me the best meat you have.”
The butcher said, “What nonsense! I never sell anything that is not the best. Here everything is the best.”
And it is said, hearing this, Rinzai became enlightened. The moment he heard this – “Here, everything is the best” – it shattered something in his mind. A breakthrough, a piercing insight – everything is the best? – and he realized something. That’s how it is, the whole existence: it is never less than the best. And he danced.
And when he came back to the monastery, his master hugged him and said, “So! So it has happened. Now tell me the whole story, how it happened.”
Rinzai said, “It is ridiculous. It happened by hearing a butcher say something to his customer. Of all places, in the marketplace, and of all persons, through a butcher! – but something shattered, something simply dropped. ”
Each moment is the best, and each rose is the best. Yes, I would like to tell you, in the same way as the butcher told his customer: Here everything is the best. I don’t deal in anything less than that. If I say it, it must be the best, otherwise I won’t say it. But sometimes you get it and sometimes you miss it – it depends on you. It has to be understood.
First: listening to me, your mind is not empty. Listening to me, you are not like a mirror. Listening to me, you are full of your inner chattering. That is a disturbance. You listen to something and I say something else. Sometimes you listen only half-heartedly – a word here, a word there – and then you connect it. It is a hotchpotch, it is a mess; you will be never able to figure it out.
You have to listen to me so silently that not a single word is missed. I’m not saying listen to me in deep concentration, no. I am saying listen to me in awareness. Because concentration can never be perfect; there is always a possibility of distraction in concentration. I am saying something to you and a bird starts singing – what will you do? The sound of the bird will start coming to you; it will be a distraction. Concentration implies distraction, so I am never in favor of concentration. Listen to me in deep awareness.