In Zen there exists a model of mind to mind transmission and the idea that the realizations of Shakyamuni Buddha and subsequent teachers are not different from one another nor from what we can realize today. When pictures of austerity come down to us as a vehicle for realization and insight we need to ask honestly are these models of behavior or psychological metaphors? Is it sufficient to take the lessons of realization or must we recapitulate the life leading up to that realization? Is the second patriarch standing in the snow cutting off his arm a good model for dedication? And what happens when we learn that story is, in fact, an amalgam of several different monks? What are the lessons of a lifetime of practice and where does it lead?