Midah Keneged Midah
A Mile Down the Road commenting on More On Comparing Judaism And Buddhism:
I recently sent my mentor Chabakuk Elisha the following story, which I called "A Zen View of 'Ein Ode Milvado' ":
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received." Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.
"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"
Returning the favor, Chabakuk Elisha then sent me the following Chassidic tale:
A Lesson in Acosmism
A Chossid once complained to the Tzemach Tzedek that another Chossid owed him money, but refused to pay. The Tzemach Tzedek called them both in to his private room and asked the second Chossid why he was refusing to pay -- to which the latter responded: "Ein Ode Milvado -- I don't exists, he doesn't exist, and the money doesn't exist!"
"Aha," said the Tzemach Tzedek. "Very true."
He turned to the Gabbai, and as the eyes of the Chossid who didn't want to pay widened, he said, "Bring the whip that doesn't exists, and whip the Chossid who doesn't exist until he pays the money that doesn't exist to the other Chossid who doesn't exist..."
The stubborn fellow quickly jumped up and said, "Oh no, that's not necessary! I'll pay, I'll pay!"