Chuang Tzu and Skill

Chuang Tzu, a leading Taoist teacher, wrote about the pleasure and importance of skill. It is possible to slip into a kind of meditative state where one can perform effortlessly at painting, singing, dancing, and so forth.

We’ve all had experiences like this, where something suddenly seems effortless. When have you had an experience like this? What were you doing? How did the experience affect your sense of time?

Fish Story

The Taoist teacher Chuang Tzu was walking with a friend over a bridge. Chuang Tzu saw some fish darting about and said, “That is happiness for a fish.”

His friend said, “You’re not a fish! How do you know what makes a fish happy?”

Chuang Tzu responded, “You’re not me! How do you know I don’t know what makes a fish happy?”

What was Chuang Tzu saying to his friend?