I was told this story by my friend in Korea who is studying Korean Zen.
One day she asked the head monk, a Polish man who spoke perfect English and Korean. He used his linguistic talent not only to spread peace, but to curse with obscene proficiency in both his second and third languages. In fact, this was no ordinary monk. He spent ten years of his life dancing with drugs of all kinds. Even though he is reformed, he doesnt' regret his choices. Anyway, my friend puts this question to him, "What is it like to be a monk?"
The monk replied: In Poland, dog racing is very popular. And there is this fucking mechanical rabbit (He is quite prone to cursing) that they chase around an ovular track. The dog doesn't even know it is racing for sport, it just sees something that bloody consumes his being, and he goes for it.
For four or five laps around the track, they are constantly chasing this bunny, which is operated by a man in a control tower. His primary job is too make sure none of the dogs actually catch their prey. This human-controlled bunny runs a teasing race, forever out of the dog's chance of obtaining it. Is is so fucking impossible, that if a dog ever does, he gets all the money right then and there.
Well, one day, there was dog by the name of, well, I can't actually remember the dogs fucking name. Anyway, the race started off and all ten dogs lunge for the leading rabbit, charging off at full speed around the track. This dog too, does one lap around, falling behind but giving his whole being in an effort to reach sweet satisfaction.
As the dog enters into his second lap, he all of a sudden just stops dead in his tracks. The men are screaming and urging him to continue on. Instead, the dog walks slowly over to the elevated track that the rabbit rides along, and as it heads for him, he stands motionless. The rabbit comes speeding along to find itself in the victorious jaws of the animal, at which point the dog sits; completely content.
That is what it is like to be a monk. Many people spend there whole lives chasing a goal that is unatainable. A monk stops the race, and contentness and peace just comes to him.