Story of enlightenment.
The image is from 茶悦网.
Once there was a man received a precious purple clay teapot. He placed it at the head of his bed every night so no one could steal it away from him.
However one night he accidentally knocked the lid off the teapot in his sleep. After waking up to the noise, he decided to get rid of the teapot: after all, what’s the point keeping a teapot with a broken lid?
So, he grabbed the teapot and threw it out of the window.
The following morning, he found, on the contrary to what he had expected: the teapot lid stayed intact as it landed on his cotton shoes.
Exasperated and frustrated, the man stepped on the lid, crushing it to pieces.
As he stepped outdoors, he encountered another surprise: the teapot he had thrown out of the window the day before hung perfectly intact in a tree outside his window.
The image is from Brainy Quote.
Have you ever had the moment when you wish you could take back the hurtful things said to a loved one? Unlike the teapot that stayed intact, a lot of hurts cannot be undone: it is perfectly human to feel exasperated or disappointed. However it is the actions upon those emotions that make all the difference: had the man decided not to throw out the teapot when exasperated, things would have been a lot different. Therefore, patience is no longer just a virtue, but also a state of mindfulness of the potential consequences of one’s actions.
It did feel like a practical joke however, when our protagonist found that he had thrown out the teapot when the lid was found intact, that there was no going back: he had crushed his own chances: In fact, luck had always been on his side: fate did not ruin his lid, he was the one who did.
Isn’t it ironic that it has never crossed our minds that it is ourselves who created our “bad luck” when hope and light have always proven to be on our side?
Archaeological excavations reveal that as early as the Song dynasty (10th century) potters near Yixing were using local “zisha” (紫砂 or 紫泥 ; literally, “purple sand/clay”) to make utensils that may have functioned as teapots. According to the Ming dynasty author Zhou Gaoqi, during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, a monk from Jinsha Temple (Golden Sand Temple) in Yixing handcrafted a fine quality teapot from local clay. Such teapots soon became popular with the scholarly class, and the fame of Yixing teapots began to spread.
An old man selling porcelain bowls was walking along the road carrying a pole.
Suddenly a porcelain bowl fell to the ground and broke, but the old man kept walking forward without turning his head.
When a passersby saw it, he felt strange and asked: “Why is your bowl broken and you don’t look at it?”
The old man replied, “No matter whether I look back or not, the bowl is still broken.”
The image is from Berry Thoughtful Life.
Learn to accept and let go of what you have lost. Things will not come back because of your grief, and you can’t change the result.
Let bygones be bygones, and your life will be free of burden.
On Friday night, I watched my favorite program, the Voice: China. They usually have four very notable singers as judges. These judges each pick 5 or 6 students out of all of the contestants that enter. It was very competitive, and sometimes all the judges would like a single singer and try to get them to join their team. After many auditions, each judge was happy with who they selected. They would train their contestants, and then each judge’s team would compete with the others.
The image is from Cfensi – WordPress.com.
The other night, when I watched it, instead of competing, the contestants did duets with one judge and then were critiqued by the other judges. I happened to watch this group belonging to Jay Chou, with two female students. The song the first one sang was called Peace. I thought she sang well, but when the second one sang, I felt more at peace, even though her song was more lively and lighthearted. Afterwards, the judges picked the singer they liked the most.
The thing that got to me was that a judge mentioned that the girl who sang Peace had tried so hard to express her feeling that she did not sing with peace as well, so the listener could not feel it either.
At first, I thought his criticism was tough, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is what I was trying to reach when I start to read Lao Tzu. As you can see, the second singer won the competition, and the judges voted for her overwhelmingly because her singing was full of joy and calmness, and sounded more natural and helped the listener feel the same. You didn’t feel that she tried at all, that she was just being herself and made the song her own. It simply flowed naturally.
For many days, a monk sat alone in a room in meditation, silently. The master saw him there and led him out of the gate with a smile. Outside the temple, there was a beautiful spring. Looking around, heaven and earth were filled with fresh air, green grass buds, flying birds, and flowing rivers…
He took a deep breath and looked at his master, who was now sitting peacefully on the hillside.
After spending the whole afternoon outside, the master got up and, without saying a word, made a gesture for the monk to follow.
Just after entering the gate of the temple, the master suddenly stepped forward and lightly closed two wooden doors, shutting the monk outside the temple.
He did not understand the master’s will and sat alone outside the door, thinking why his master would do this.
Soon it was dark, and a mist hung over the hills and the trees. The sounds of water in the woods, of the streams, and even of the singing of the birds were no longer evident.
Then the master called his name from within the temple.
The monk opened the door and went in.
The master asked, “How is it outside?”
“It’s all black.”
“No,” said the master, “Outside, the breeze, the green field, the flowers, the creek…everything is still there.”
Suddenly, he realized his master’s actions.
A young man asked a monk: “Master, some people say that I am a genius, and some people call me a stupid person. What do you think?”
The monk asked, “How do you see yourself?” And the young man was puzzled.
“A kilogram of rice is a few bowls of rice in the eyes of the housewife; a biscuit in the eyes of the baker, and a fine wine in the eyes of the brewer. Rice is still rice. Similarly, you are still you, but how much you can accomplish depends on how you treat yourself. So how do you think of yourself?” And the young man was enlightened.
The image is from https://tinybuddha.com/blog/9-powerful-life-lessons-from-studying-with-a-monk/.
Someone asked Picasso: “How can we understand your paintings?”
Picasso said: “Have you heard birds sing?”
“Is it nice?”
“Yes, it’s nice.”
“Now do you understand?”
Buddha: “What is most precious in the world?”
Disciple: “It is the thing you lose and the thing we cannot get.”
The Buddha was silent.
After several years has gone by, the Buddha asked again, and the disciple answered: “The most precious thing in the world is the thing we truly own!