What to Do About Noise :
(A dialogue between a Zen Master & his student)
One day a student at the Cambridge Zen Center said to Seung Sahn Soen-sa,
"I am disturbed by noise when I sit Zen. What can I do about this?"
Soen-sa said, "What color is this rug?"
''Is it quiet or noisy?"
"Who makes it quiet?"
The student shrugged his shoulders.
Soen-sa said, "You do. Noisy and quiet are made by your thinking. If you think something is noisy, it is noisy; if you think something is quiet, it is quiet. Noisy is not noisy, quiet is not quiet. True quiet is neither quiet nor noisy. If you listen to the traffic with a clear mind, without any concepts, it is not noisy, it is only what it is. Noisy and quiet are opposites. The Absolute is only like this."
There were a few moments of silence.
Then Soen-sa said, "What is the opposite of blue?"
The student said, "I don't know."
Soen-sa said, "Blue is blue. White is white.This is the truth."
(From the Book – Dropping Ashes on the Buddha)