Story To Reflect Upon 155, 156


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2 inspiring stories of Wisdom

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Story To Reflect Upon 155, 156

  1. 1. Story To Reflect Upon 155 A Wise Old Man A very rich man once asked a wise old man to ‘cure’ his only son from his bad habits. The old man took the 15-year old boy for a walk in the countryside. After a while, they suddenly stopped. The old man asked the boy to pull out a tiny plant growing at the side of a path. The boy, holding the plant between his thumb and forefinger easy pulled the tiny plant out. The old man then asked him to pull out a bigger plant nearby. The boy pulled hard and the plant was uprooted after a while. “Now, pull out that one,” the old man said, pointing to a shrub a few meters away. The boy had to use up all his strength to pull the shrub out. “Now pull out the papaya tree over there,” the old man instructed the boy. The boy grasped at the trunk and tried to pull it out but it just could not budge. “It…it’s impossible,” said the boy, panting hard. “So it is with bad habits,” the wise man said. “When they are young, you can pull them out but when they take hold, they cannot be uprooted.” The wise old man managed to transform the boy from his bad ways. Reflections * Bad habits and conditioning in us are hard to alter… right mindfulness, great determination and effort are needed to remove these defilements. * Unless and until we remove all our bad habits and vices especially from a young age, we will have much suffering later on.
  2. 2. Story To Reflect Upon 156 Egotism During the Tang Dynasty, there was a prime minister who was regarded as a national hero for being a successful statesman and military leader. Despite his fame, power and wealth, he thought of himself as a humble and devout Buddhist. He often visited a Zen master to study under him and they seemed to get along very well. Even though he was the prime minister the relationship was one of a revered master and a respectful student. One day the prime minister asked the Zen master, “Your Reverence, what is egotism?” The master put on an angry face and in a very condescending and insulting tone of voice, barked out, “What kind of stupid question is that?” This unexpected response shocked the prime minister. He was very angry and his face turned black. The Zen master then smiled and said, “THIS, Your Excellency, is Egotism.” Reflection * Much suffering like anger and hatred arise because of our ego, self-pride and conceit. * The ignorant man reacts to all sorts of situations in order to protect his Ego or Self. This brings much pain and suffering.