The book consists of some fifty short pieces, some of them in this author’s familiar anecdotal style. The first half, the Lotus Lake, are from the mystical Indian tradition, which seeks to penetrate the depths of the mind and then beyond; the second half, Dragon Pool, are from the Zen and associated traditions of Japan, which likens itself to a ball floating on the surface of a river, freely turning to meet all changes and never attached to any.
There is a Chinese poem which brings together the two:
In the uttermost depths of the heart,
There is a pivot on which the whole world turns.
The commentator says that ‘the uttermost depths of the heart’ represent the Indian tradition of silent meditation; ‘the pivot on which the world turns’ represents its application to life in the traditions of the Ways in the Far East.
Lotus Lake sections
The Magistrate , Do Good , Self-examination , Last words , Anger , Habits , Honor , Prayers Answered , Proclaimed Wisdom , The Judge , Tail, No tail , Powers , Obedience , Holy Ceremony , Handshake , Prescriptions , Test not , Giving up Illusion , Fire Stages , In the Courtyard , Dream Fair , Fireworks , The swimmer , Mistakes , Too Good , Turtle , One step, Twenty steps , Warning , Hypnosis , The Procession , The Well.
Dragon Pool sections
Remembering , Reverence , Humble , Racing Dive , Devil, Devil , All different , Seeds , Emptying , Silence , Mu in prison , How Much , The Mantra-sayer , Notes , Faith , The Part , Hero , Jobs , Good , Cat and Dog , Shooting Arrows , Trick , Gardens , Independence , Gone away , Ghosts , The pond , Fallacy somewhere , Dark Spotlight , Cleaning , Spitting , Time, Time , The Blue Mountains , Paid for , Triumph , To the last drop , Wisdom water , Channel , Channel , Pearls , Interlaced trees , The singing eggs , The Pillar , Unseen.
The great strength of Mr. Leggett’s writing is that he never loses sight of the practical implications of what the Masters have written.
‘Japan Society of London’