I have realized that most of us like listening to stories and of course we love telling stories too…:).
We hear stories and we hear stories. I always wondered whether I would be able to narrate as well as my Mother & Grandmother did. Then to my surprise I realized that my daughters inspired me to act out stories. So we would trade stories every night before going to bed :). It automatically led me to look for more & more stories. The messaging was loud and clear when we traded stories…a tradition that continues even today as a family!
I am sharing some of the stories that have had a profound impact on my thinking over a period of time.
Empty Your Cup
A seeker of truth goes to a Zen Master. The seeker’s head was full with ideas about the truth, life, spirituality. It was read by the The Zen Master’s eyes.
The Zen master started pouring the tea in the cup, he continued to pour the tea even after the cup was full and the tea began to spill over from the cup. The seeker on seeing this pointed out to the Zen Master that cup was full and the pouring more tea was pointless.
To this the Master replied, “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk accross because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?”
The elder monk answered “yes, brother”.
Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”
The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.”
The Other Side
One day a young Buddhist on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”?
The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.
The Lost Key