I look upon the judgment
of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons.

–Buddha’s Zen, story #101 in Zen Flesh Zen Bones

In Virginia a while back I met with a young college student who was interested in Buddhism. Recently arrived from China, Han Longwei was beautiful, articulate, and deeply curious. We had spent a good deal of time discussing Buddhist ethics and philosophy when he looked at me, head tilted, and said,

“May I ask you an unrelated question?”

“Sure,” I answered.

“Why doesn’t one ever see dragons?” Han Longwei inquired.

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