The Best Horse vs Worst Horse

July 26, 2017

This talk by Shunryu Suzuki had a big impact on my life.

In our scripture it is said that there are four kinds of horses — an excellent one, and not so good ones, and bad horse.

The best horse will run before it sees the shadow of the whip. That is the best one. The second one will run just before the whip reaches his skin. The third one will run when it feels pain on his body. The fourth one will run after the pain penetrates into the marrow of his bone. That is the worst one.

When we hear this story, perhaps everyone wants to be a good horse — the best horse. Even if it is impossible to be the best one we want to be the second best. That is quite usual understanding of horse.

Zen is not the practice to be the best horse.

If you think of the mercy of Buddha, what do you think the Buddha will feel? He will be more sympathetic with the worst one rather than with the best one.

So sometimes I think the best horse is the worst horse and the worst horse is the best one. Sometimes. If you study calligraphy, usually those who are not so clever will become best calligraphers, and those who are very clever at his hand will find great difficulty to attain excellent calligraphy.

Horse Sense