Goso, an enlightened Zen Master, once said, “If, for example, a buffalo passes through the eye of the needle unto the edge of the abyss, his horns and his head and his hoofs all pass through. Why can’t the tail also pass?”
Here, the buffalo exemplifies the human being. The horns, head and the four legs go out successfully through the ‘lattice’ much as our actions, words and thoughts continually pass out through our five senses.
In such a state, man stands precariously balanced on the edge of an abyss – death, suffering, old age, misery, restlessness, sickness – constantly threatened by the million natural shocks that carnal flesh is heir to. But the tail – the true Self, the Essence Within – does not go out in response to illusions, delusions or ignorance. It waits patiently till the day it be discovered. That selfless Self is never dissipated, diminished or threatened – it is the fountain of life immortal.