“Bring Me The Rhinoceros”

Synchronicity In Action

Several months ago it was time to order business cards. I have ordered my cards from an on-line source in the past and therefore knew just were to begin. I have heard, and in some cases agree, that one should factor in the best suited design depending on their  target market. I truly have always found this frustrating but have tried, in my way, to adhere to that model.

In the past I would review the pages of designs available and later pretty much torture my husband with all the possibilities. You girls know how it goes, you ask what their preference is and then, with certainty, choose the other one. This time I decided to pick  5 or 6 possible designs. One of them I was drawn to  and so just for giggles I drafted a possible card. I wrestled with myself but decided that I would say nothing to my husband of my choices.

Well, poor guy, as he entered the door after a long days work I announced that it was time to order new business cards and would he consider taking a gander at the choices. “Sure honey, I would love to” knowing full well that this could turn into an arduous task, as before.

I sat him down and asked him to go through the 50 pages of designs and pick his top choices.  Determined to keep my mouth shut  I sat there very quietly as he pointed out his favorites.  Surprisingly he did match several of mine.  When he was done  I asked him which  one sticks out in his mind the most. He pointed to one and guess what it was indeed the same one that I had already drafted. I definitely felt that divine intervention had played a role and excitedly ordered the cards the following day.

Now this is where the story gets interesting and really fun. I was thumbing through one of my favorite  catalogue ‘s and noticed a book with the title ‘Bring Me The Rhinoceros, And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life’  I jumped up and brought it to my husband to share and exclaimed ” I have to order this, I don’t know why and I certainly have no idea what a Koan is, but there is something here  I need to learn”  Being use to my ways he agreed.

The day came when the book had arrived and I was anxious to understand what was going on.  More importantly I was really curious  as to why I had ordered a business card with a rhinoceros and small child on it. I mean honestly what does that say about my market?  First I dove into the explanation at the front of the book of just what a Koan was. The author John Tarrant lists the 7 things that he has noticed about koans in his extensive studies:

1. Koans show you that you can depend on creative moves.
2. Koans encourage doubt and curiosity
3. Koans rely on uncertainty as a path to happiness
4. Koans will undermine your reasons and your explanations
5. Koans lead you to see life as funny rather than tragic
6. Koans will change your idea of who you are, and this will require courage.
7. Koans uncover a hidden kindness in life.

After reading the explanations I thought, as a layman, it was rather like a Confucius quote, you know with some underlining meaning  to life. Now my curiosity had  peaked. I jumped to the 3 section and there it was my Koan.


One day, Yanguan called to his assistant, “Bring me the rhinoceros fan’

The assistant said, “It is broken”

Yanguan said, “In that case, bring me the rhinoceros”


The author goes on and tells the full rhinoceros story and finishes with  how to work with this  particular Koan.  I was astounded.  I decided to read my  Koan daily and each time I did another revelation would surface.  Each day it was as though a path was widening and I felt, excitedly, that I was exactly where I was  meant to be.  I am a bit of an over thinker so to embrace the ‘inconceivable’ was brilliant. It was as though someone had just given me a slice of icy cold watermelon on a hot steamy day.  It was delicious and just right. I recognized that I had succumbed to what Carl Jung described as synchronicity.  I have always valued  it in my daily life but I had never allowed it to live out its full potential, and in so doing,  clearly witness its possibilities.

Detail of Business Card


So I ended up with the business card that was meant for me, even if it may not seem the likeliest of designs. It is true the more you listen to your  intuition the clearer it becomes and those moments of synchronicity will eventually, all run together in some glorious way. I never had heard of a Koan before but  I have discovered through this experience that their unpredictability is valuable. I  encourage  anyone that feels the urge to check John Tarrant’s book out to do so. Who knows in reading this post perhaps you are in a moment of synchronicity and are being led to its pages. If so…

Have fun and enjoy the ride!











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One Response to “Bring Me The Rhinoceros”

  1. jeannde says:

    It is so inspiring to hear that you are enjoying my blog. I am working on a better schedule so that I can write more. Stay Tuned