PZI Teacher Archives
a. In the Sea of Ise, ten thousand feet down, lies a single stone.
I want to pick up that stone
without getting my hands wet.
b. Here is the stone, inscribed with three lines:
1. The top line is a signature.
2. The right line reads, “Cannot get wet.”
3. The left line reads, “Cannot get dry.”
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 27
From an 8th century C.E. imperial Japanese song. The Shrine at Ise is the most sacred site of Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion. It is sacred to foxes. This is one of the few Japanese koans in the curriculum.
Our fascination with the Titanic endures. Even the name of the ship was the beginning of its loss; the titans stand in the psyche for whatever is gigantic and careless and ignores the laws of fate. The ship had to sink because it was unsinkable.