“How do you step from the top of a hundred-foot pole?”

I am not a fan, to say the least, of leaping off high places.  I learned this when a young boy, after climbing up onto a ledge to jump into a lake, only to stand there frozen for what seemed like an eternity before finally throwing myself into the void of space between the ledge and the lake below.  So when I first heard this koan, I took it as a prescription, or even almost a command.  I wanted to back away from that ledge.

Sometime later I began to wonder if instead of a prescription, this koan could be taken as a description of life.  In what ways could it be said we are always taking that step?

Later in the case, it says:

Take a step from the top of the pole
and the worlds of the ten directions are your total body

Where is this total body?
David Longerbeam

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