The great Master Dogen said, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self,
to study the self is to forget the self,
and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”
To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize
the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.
Mulla Nasrudin, as everyone knows, comes from a country where fruit is fruit and meat is meat, and curry is never eaten. One week he was plodding along a dusty Indian road, having newly descended from the high mountains of Kafiristan, when a great thirst overtook him. “Soon,” he said to himself, “I must come across somewhere that good fruit is to be had.” No sooner were the words formed in his brain than he rounded a corner and saw sitting in the shade of a tree a benevolent-looking man with a basket of fruit in front of him. Piled high in the basket were huge, shiny red fruits. “This is what I need,” said Nasrudin. Taking two tiny coppers from the knot at the end of his turban, he handed them to the fruit-seller. Without a word, the man handed him the whole basket, for this kind of fruit is cheap in India, and people usually buy it in smaller amounts. Nasrudin sat down in the place vacated by the fruiterer and started to much the fruits. Within a few seconds, his mouth was burning. Tears streamed down his cheeks; fire was in his throat. The Mulla went on eating. An hour or two passed, and then an Afghan hillman came past. Nasrudin hailed him, “Brother, these infidel fruits must come from the very mouth of Sheitan!” “Fool!” said the hillman. “Hast thou never heard of the chillis of Hindustan? Stop eating them at once, or death will surely claim a victim before the sun is down.” “I cannot move from here,” gasped the Mulla, “until I have finished the whole basketful.” “Madman! those fruits belong in curry! Throw them away at once.” “I am not eating fruit any more,” croaked Nasrudin, “I am eating my money.”
–Idries Shah’s “The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin