What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping (Thursday’s Writing Essentials: Focus)?

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on April 27, 2012 0 Comments

Sidharta (not Siddhartha the Buddha) is a neighbor of mine (also known as Sid) who has his own bodhi tree in his backyard for meditation.  He is very old and very wise…ultra thin with a long thin white beard to match.  His parents are from China, but he was born and raised in the Bronx.  He drove a cab and worked as a bartender, then moved to California when he retired.

He has always been one to ponder the big questions that no one can seem to answer.  When he meditates, his eyebrows rise to a pyramid on his forehead the moment an answer fills his creases.

He recently pondered the age-old question “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  Here is the answer that was revealed to him:

It is the same sound that a falling tree makes when there is no one around to hear.  It is the sound a hand makes when it slaps a smooth surface.  It is a sound so faint that only a dog can hear it.  It is no sound at all.  It is a sound you can only hear with your heart.

Listen…and you will know the sound of who you are. 


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Freelance artist and writer. I like to exercise and eat healthy foods. I love reading your posts here on gather along with looking at your photos, art and videos.

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