a cool koan

The Zen Master held up a bell. "What is this?", she challenged the students. "If you say it is a bell, I will hit you thirty times, and if you say it is not a bell, I will hit you thirty times!"

One stood up and took the bell from her hand. He rang it -- ding-a-ling-a-ling! Ding-a-ling-a-ling! And he said: "When I was a boy, the snowball truck -- you might call them snow cones -- came through the neighborhood on hot summer days. The driver rang his bell like this. We would cry out to him and he would stop to give us shaved ice and flavored syrup, providing sweet and cool succor to those suffering in the heat. Truly he was a Bodhisattva, and this bell the herald of his presence."

The master took back the bell and, lightly, smacked the student on top of his head. "You talk too much," she said.


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