Extract                                                                                                                                                                                                  lotusLake

A devout pupil attended a spiritual meeting in another part of the country, at which holy texts were intoned by the leaders, men and women.

On his return, he told his teacher that he had been shocked by the lack of reverence shown by those reciting the texts. ‘I had heard that they were a very good group, but they did not seem to show respect for what they were reading.

You have told us that we should always read holy texts with great reverence.’

The teacher, who was well-known for deep insight, asked, ‘And did you feel the truth of the texts when they were being recited as you say?’

‘Why, yes. It was very clear and firm. But no reverence – that was whatput me off.’

The teacher said: ‘When we recite the holy texts, we must always do it with great reverence. But if it should come to pass that there is no more ‘I’ or ‘we’, then there is no more reverence either.

The holy texts speak out the truth as it is: they have nothing to do with reverence or no reverence.

That’s for human beings who still feel themselves separate individuals apart from the truth.’



The book consists of some fifty short pieces, some of them in this author’s familiar anecdotal style. The first half, the Lotus Lake, are from the mystical Indian tradition, which seeks to penetrate the depths of the mind and thenbeyond; the second half, Dragon Pool, are from the Zen and associated traditions of Japan, which likens itself to a ball floating on the surface of a river, freely turning to meet all changes and never attached to any.

There is a Chinese poem which brings together the two:

In the uttermost depths of the heart,

There is a pivot on which the whole world turns.

The commentator says that ‘the uttermost depths of the heart’ represent the Indian tradition of silent meditation; ‘the pivot on which the world turns’ represents its application to life in the traditions of the Ways in the Far East.





The MagistrateDo Good
Self-examinationLast words
HonorPrayers Answered
Proclaimed WisdomThe Judge
Tail, No tailPowers
ObedienceHoly Ceremony
Test notGiving up Illusion
Fire StagesIn the Courtyard
Dream FairFireworks
The swimmerMistakes
Too GoodTurtle
One step, Twenty stepsWarning
HypnosisThe Procession
The Well



HumbleRacing Dive
Devil, DevilAll different
SilenceMu in prison
How MuchThe Mantra-sayer
The PartHero
Cat and DogShooting Arrows
IndependenceGone away
GhostsThe pond
Fallacy somewhereDark Spotlight
Time, TimeThe Blue Mountains
Paid forTriumph
To the last dropWisdom water
PearlsInterlaced trees
The singing eggsThe Pillar




The great strength of Mr. Leggett’s writing is that he never loses sight of the practical implications of what the Masters have written.

Japan Society of London’

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