The ultimate end of koans might be seen in the following story, a bit of modern zen humor regarding a disciple who sent his master faithful accounts of his spiritual progress. In the first month, the student wrote, “I feel an expansion of consciousness and experienced oneness with the universe.” The master glanced at the note and threw it away. The following month, this is what the student had to say: “I finally discovered that the Divine is present in all things.” The master seemed disappointed.
In his third letter the disciple enthusiastically explained, “The mystery of One and the many has been revealed to my wondering gaze.” The master yawned. The next letter said, “No one is born, no one lives, and no one dies, for the self is not.” The master threw up his hands in despair.
After that, 6 months passed by, then two, then five, then a whole year. The master thought it was time to remind his disciple of his duty to keep him informed of his spiritual progress. The disciple wrote back, “I am simply living my life. And as for spiritual practice, who cares?” When the master read that he cried, “Thank God. He’s got it at last.”
– Beyond Satori – After the Ecstasy the Laundry. Jack Kornfield
(A bow to student Scott Adams for re-mind-in me of this story)