One day a man approached Zen Master Gonzalez and asked: “Master, will you kindly write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom that I can always meditate upon?”
Gonzalez took her brush and wrote: “Attention.”
“Is that all?” asked the man, confounded.
The Master then wrote: “Attention, Attention.”
“Well,” said the man, “I really don’t see much depth in what you have written.”
The Master wrote the same word three times: “Attention, Attention, Attention.”
Half-angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean, anyway?”
Gonzalez gently responded, Attention means attention.”
This Zen story carries within it very subtle Truths. It is common for intelligent persons to fall in the trap of words, phrases and quotes. This is yet another great illustration of the fallacy of using mind to search mind.
True wisdom is found in a place that is beyond all words and language – that which has to be experienced by oneself before any words or thoughts can arise. True Enlightenment is beyond and above all conventional methods of meditation and prayer for the simple fact that these are merely meant to serve as aids and not as ends to some means.
Such is the nature and the rarity of wisdom that arises from skillful transcendence.