A mother of one of Mistress Tova’s students missed her daughter and came to see what she was learning at the monastery. She found her daughter sleeping in the large bedroom she shared with ten other students who were also asleep. Quietly, she approached her daughter and gently shook her shoulder. Turning over slowly and rubbing her eyes, the girl awoke to see her mother sitting on her cot.
“Mother,” the girl whispered. “What a wonderful surprise.”
“I’ve missed you so much,” her mother replied. They embraced. “Are you eating okay? How’s your health?”
“Shhh,” the girl whispered to her mother. “I’m fine, but can’t you see we’re meditating?”
“Meditating?” The mother looked around at all the sleeping students. “You’re all napping. It’s the middle of the day.”
“It may look that way Mom, but we are in deep meditation.” Several snores arose above their whispers.
“When we’ll you be done, so we can visit?” her mother asked.
The girl looked outside to gauge the sun. “Another four or five hours, not much longer.”
“You’re going to sleep your entire day away.”
“Oh no, Mom,” the daughter said, her eyes shining brightly. “Mistress Tova says that it is best to sleep in, take long naps, and relax as often as possible, day or night. She says that it wakes us up to the reality of what is real.”
“You’re kidding?” Her mother said.
“Kidding? I’m not a kid Mom.”
Her mother rolled her eyes. “You left home to live like a sloth and sleep all day?”
“It’s not like that. You don’t understand. Mistress Tova says this is the surest path to enlightenment.”
“Then Mistress Tova is . . . never mind.” She kissed her daughter on the cheek, and stood. “Let me know when you’re done. I’ll be outside. I think we need to talk.”
More devious koans, stories, & tales, at Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.