She sat under the sacred fig tree. The clouds drifted lazily above, the butterflies danced, a solitary ant crept across the lacquer face of the Princess’s birdhouse.Continue reading
He’d kept watch for the past three days, but there had been no sign of the Prince or his woeful sister. The forest of the world was empty once again. Had they abandoned their quest?Continue reading
One day there was a terrific storm, like the deluges of old. No amount of magic could hold back the downpour, and so a heavy rain fell upon the garden and soaked the Knight and Princess, both.Continue reading
The day-lilies stretched and opened with the day. All along the bank of the knoll they bloomed, from foot to crest and all the places in between. Only a small stone footpath offered passage up the hill.Continue reading
Nin sat beneath a lone fig tree and despaired. How had it come to this? How had he been led astray? What was preventing him from finding the truth that lies buried at the heart of the world?
Was there some flaw in him?Continue reading
Nin laid in a recovery ward, tended by the white rabbit and the black rabbit. His battle with the warlord had left him scarred and broken.Continue reading
Once again he could feel its approach. The great dread, the great tiredness. The overwhelming urge to quit, to retire. It was the feeling that told him that all his efforts were vanity, that wisdom was a trap.
The black dread came like the lapping of a tide, always it seemed inevitable, at most he was throwing rocks against the sea, beating it off for a time, yet knowing it would return again in force.Continue reading
“The first step is learning to breathe,” said the wise monkey.
“Learning to breathe?” asked Nin.
“Learning to breathe,” repeated the monkey. “It is the core of all martial prowess. If you wish to run with the swiftness of a cheetah, first you must learn how to breathe. If you wish to catch a hunter’s arrow as it races towards you, first you must learn how to breathe. If you wish to cut your foe in twain with one fell strike, first you must learn how to breathe.”Continue reading
The master summoned Nin before him and gave him a koan to contemplate: “What does the mind think about in-between thoughts?” and then he sent Nin away to meditate on the answer.Continue reading
Often, before he left on his pilgrimage, Nin would sit beneath the mulberry tree and think. He called it meditation, but in practice it was closer introspection, or just arguing with himself.Continue reading