A Chinese allegory tells how a monk sets off on a long pilgrimage to find the Buddha. He spends years and years on his quest and finally he comes to the country where the Buddha lives. He crosses a river, it's a wide river, and he looks about him while the boatman rows him across. There is a corpse floating on the water and it's coming closer. The monk looks. The corpse is so close he can touch it. He recognizes the corpse, it is his own. The monk loses all self control and wails. There he floats, dead. Nothing remains. Anything he has ever been, ever learned, ever owned, floats past him, still and without life, moved by the slow current of the wide river. It is the first moment of his liberation.
Janwillem van de Wetering
Source: A Glimpse of Nothingness: Experiences in an American Zen Community, Pages: 180
You are eight years old. It is Sunday evening. You are granted an extra hour before bed. The family is playing monopoly. You have been told that you are big enough to join them. You lose. You are losing continuously. Your stomach cramps with fear. Nearly all your possessions are gone. Your brothers are snatching all the houses from your streets. The last street is being sold. You have to give in. You have lost. And suddenly, you know that it is only a game. You jump with joy and you knock the big lamp over. It falls on the floor and drags the teapot with it. The others are angry with you, but you laugh when you go upstairs. You know you are nothing. And you know that not-to-be and not-to-have give an immeasurable freedom.