This Zen Buddhist riddle touches the deepest part of my soul so well that I could just meditate on it forever without feeling a bit tired.
Q: How long should you stay at something?
A: However long it takes to get what you came for.
Q: How do you decide what you came for?
A: You don’t, you discover it.
Q: How do you discover it?
A: You notice what isn’t there anymore when you feel like leaving.
You need to be a person of certain nature to have the patience to seriously ponder this riddle. If you do take the time to ruminate on this, you will be rewarded with an illumination that’s priceless. It may even do exactly what riddles and poems are supposed to do: change your outlook on Life.
The reward in this discovery is the next...
There is a sense of spontaneity and now-ness in the first answer. Listen to your soul to know how long you should stay at something. But how did you arrive at this ‘something’ to begin with? Intriguingly enough, the last question answers that. You arrived at this
‘something’ when you felt like leaving the previous
Who said philosophy, that too Zen philosophy, is easy?
We always will have a ‘something’ to stay at. The only conscious or sub-conscious choice we have is to let go of this ‘something’, so we go to the next ‘something’.
Do you realize how the “notice” on the last answer circles back to the “something” in the first question? no? never mind.
What you came to ‘discover’, the reward, in this ‘something’ is really your next ‘something’. Zen is Genius. This is Life. This is exactly who I am.
And, I am not really as nutty as you might have concluded.