John Suler's Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"
Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.
He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.
People's reactions to this story:
We all have great power within us. We merely need to know that."
"This story reminds me of a quote: 'At the end of all our searching we will arrive at the place we began and know it for the first time.'"
"If the stone cutter restart moving backwards, he go from nature in man. So, man flow out into nature, nature flow out into man. There's a fluid , energy ranbling between objects in the earth. It isn't human ambition;it's simply life,moving in a circle."
"We are all powerful in our own way.... We all have our own place"
"The Stonecutter's story reflects the nature of the human mind and of our attachment to it. We jump from one compartment to the next, one desire to the next, one point of view to the next, never resting content with how things really are, never grasping the whole."
"We have to learn to celebrate who or what we are. When there is a way that we can better ourselves we must work for it and not just wish and dream."
"He should have settled for being rich and powerful. Then he could have had all the stone cutters working for him."
"So that's why the game of Rock Scissors Paper works...."
"The grass is always greener on the other side -- until you get there. It's a matter of perspective. Satisfaction is a personal choice. Choose to green up your own grass rather than hopping that fence."
"This definitely proves to me that a person can achieve anything, as long as they stay focused and have a goal ahead of them. As I studied in my MBA classes, you always have to work backwards! Find the end product/result and work back on how you are going to achieve it!"
"We often meet our destiny on the road we took to avoid it."
"Do not expect too much and you will get plenty."
|| Egotism || Successor || Maybe ||