Friday, May 13, 2016

Your perception of the world mirrors the condition of your heart

Shared by a Chinese colleague in my team:

"There once was a man named Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo, who lived in China during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Su Dongpo was brilliant scholar, writer, poet and statesman. He was was also a devoted student of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Su Dongpo lived across the river from his friend and spiritual teacher, Master Foyin of the Golden Mountain Temple.

One day while visiting with Master Foyin over tea, Su Dongpo, who prided himself on his wit, intellectual acumen, and prowess in debate, challenged the Master,

“Foyin, people see you as an enlightened monk, but to me you look like nothing but a big, stinking pile of worthless shit sitting on your pillow all day long.”

Then Su Dongpo leaned back, crossed his arms smugly, waiting to see how the Master would respond.

After a time, Master Foyin smiled, placed his hands together in prayer and replied, “My dear Dongpo, to me you look like a Buddha.“ And then he said no more.

Feeling very satisfied with himself for having outsmarted his teacher, Su Dongpo grinned, arose and bade the Master farewell. When he arrived home, he wasted no time in sharing his triumph with his sister,
"Sister, today I outwitted Master Foyin in debate,” he proclaimed proudly, recounting the entire story in great detail, so as to savour the taste of his victory once again.

After some time patiently listening to the story, Su Dongpo’s sister replied: “Oh brother! No, no! Do you not see? You did not win. The Master bested you without you even realizing it!”

Scandalized, Su Dongpo exclaimed, “What do you mean?”

“Brother, do you not see that your perception of the world mirrors the condition of your heart? Master Foyin sees you as a Buddha because he is a Buddha. You see him as a pile of shit. Now what does that make you?”

Su Dongpo fell silent, suddenly realizing just how foolish and ignorant he really was."

No comments:

Blog Archive