“What happened to Katzie?”

1001 Tales Discourses

Osho explains with a parable that only with an innocent mind the contact is immediate, from being to being, from heart to heart.

To receive sannyas needs a very, very innocent mind, one which knows nothing. Then the contact is immediate and the contact is from being to being, heart to heart. Otherwise the contact remains from mind to mind – and from mind to mind there is no contact really, it is a deception. It only appears as if there is a contact. There is a constant conflict between two minds.

Listen to this small story…


One evening, Katz, a black cat who lived at Master Soen-sa’s ashram, died. The seven-year-old daughter of one of Soen-sa’s students was very troubled by the death. After the burial and chanting to Amida Buddha, she went to Soen-sa for an interview.

Soen-sa said, ‘Do you have any questions?’

She said, ‘Yes. What happened to Katzie? Where did he go?’

Soen-sa said, ‘Where do you come from?’

‘From my mother’s belly.’

‘Where does your mother come from?’

She was silent.

Soen-sa said, ‘Everything in the world comes from the same one thing. It is like in a cookie factory. Many different kinds of cookies are made – lions, tigers, elephants, houses, people. They all have different shapes and different names, but they are all made from the same dough and they all taste the same. So all the different things that you see – a cat, a person, a tree, the sun, this floor – all these things are really the same.’

‘What are they?’

‘People give them many different names. When you are thinking, all things have different names and different shapes. But when you are not thinking, all things are the same. There are no words for them. People make the words. A cat doesn’t say, “I am a cat.” People say, “This is a cat.” The sun doesn’t say, “My name is sun.” People say, “This is the sun.” So when someone asks you, ‘What is this?”, how should you answer?’

‘I shouldn’t use words.’

Soen-sa said, ‘Very good! You shouldn’t use words. So if someone asks you, “What is Buddha?” what would be a good answer?’

She was silent.

Soen-sa said, ‘Now you ask me.’

‘What is Buddha?’

Soen-sa hit the floor.

Little girl

She laughed.

Soen-sa said, ‘Now I ask you, “What is Buddha?”‘

She hit the floor.

‘What is God?’

She hit the floor.

‘What is your mother?’

She hit the floor.

‘What are you?’

She hit the floor.

‘Very good! This is what all things in the world are made of. You and Buddha and God and your mother and the whole world are the same.’

She smiled.

Soen-sa said, ‘Do you have any more questions?’

‘You still haven’t told me where Katz went.’

Soen-sa leaned over, looked into her eyes, and said, ‘You already understand.’

She said, ‘Oh!’ and hit the floor very hard. Then she laughed.

Soen-sa said, ‘Very, very good! That is how you should answer any question. That is the truth.’

She bowed and left. As she was opening the door, she turned to Soen-sa and said, ‘Master, but I’m not going to answer that way when I’m in school. I’m going to give regular answers!’

Soen-sa 2

Soen-sa laughed.

Osho, Sufis, the People of the Path – Talks on Sufism, Vol 1, Ch 8, Q 1 (excerpt)

Zen Master Soen-sa (or Seung Sahn), 1927 – 2004

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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