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Zen and Fatherhood

by Bruce Linton

When I became a lay Buddhist monk 37 years ago I never imagined becoming a father or that I my children would teach me the life truths I had been trying to understand through meditation and dharma study.

There is a story about a Zen monk who wants to become an archer. He seeks out the finest Zen archery teacher in all of Japan. He asks to become his student and how long his training will last. The teacher says, “It will take your whole life.” The monk says “What if I really apply myself very diligently?” The teacher says, “Then it will take you only 30 years.” But says the monk, “What if I double my efforts, how long would it take me then?”  The teacher says, “Then it will take you 70 years.” But says the monk  “How could it take me 70 years if I am redoubling my efforts!” The teacher says “Because you are so impatient, it will take you longer.”

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