Finley quotes a Zen Mondo referenced by Merton and expands upon it (p. 24):
“A Zen Master said to his disciple, ‘Go get my rhinoceroshorn fan.’
Disciple: ‘Sorry, Master, it is broken.’
Master: ‘Okay, then get me the rhinoceros.’
If we can realize at the beginning that we are presented with an impossible task, if we can save ourselves the illusion that we can pick away at a few words and find the reality simply because we have figured out what is being said, then we can perhaps allow ourselves to become humble enough, patient enough and silent enough that as we read of the rhinoceros we will feel his hot breath on the back of our necks. This is the way of discovery proper to finding the true self.”
Are you ready to feel that hot breath? Are you willing to allow yourself to become “humble enough, patient enough and silent enough”? God is right here, within us, waiting for us to be willing to spend time in contemplation.
We can use the techniques introduced in this series of posts, or choose from many other methods. Some find contemplation in a walk in the woods, in gardening, even in washing the dishes.
The idea of contemplation is to go deeper than the “monkey mind” (where we necessarily spend most of our time in our day-to-day), to spend time in awareness of what is, right now, not in reliving what has been or in worrying about what is to come, but to be in awareness of this very moment. In this very moment is where God lives.