Silencing the Mind

A renowned Zen monk Rinzai lived in his Guru’s ashram, struggling for years to silence his mind. The mind, being the mind, did not become silent; on the contrary, it became stronger. He attained many psychic powers and his fame spread far and wide but he was not able to silence his mind.
Once as he was meditating, his Guru sat down beside him, noisily rubbing a brick against a rock. Thinking that this was a test, he decided to remain unperturbed and steadfast in his effort to meditate. The Guru too, carried on his chore for the whole day. Finally, Rinzai could not bear the noise any longer. He opened his eyes and asked, “What are you doing?” “I am trying to make a mirror out of a brick by polishing it with this stone”, was the prompt reply. Amused, Rinzai stated that it was an impossible task.

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The Guru responded knowingly, “Just as it is impossible to make a mirror by polishing a brick against a rock, the mind cannot be silenced by fidgeting with it. The brick may become smooth, but never a mirror. Similarly, disciplining it may make the mind subtle, but not silent.” Silence manifests only on leaving the mind, by taking away the controls from the mind.

Source: Times of India