Legend has it that Lao Tzu lived to be more than one hundred sixty years old. Neighbors and friends came to pay their condolences. Everyone was overcome with grief as they remembered Lao Tzu for his natural, non-combative, kind, and merciful personality.
Chin Shih came and cried out loud without kneeling and worshipping. He simply used his hand to salute; then he came out.
People stopped him and asked: “Are you not the Master’s friend?”
He replied: “Yes.”
“But is it not disrespectful for you to mourn him like that?”
He replied: “Yes.”
People were angry and questioned him, “What is your reason for acting so indifferent?”
He replied: “Lao Tzu told us that birth is not happy, and death is not sad. His birth is simply none becoming existence and following the flow of nature, so there is no reason to be happy. Whereas his death illustrates the beingness become nothingness again, so similarly there is no reason to be sad.”
He continued, “When I see those mourners, I see that there are the elderly who cry for him as if he was their son and younger people who cry for him as if he was their father. When they gather together like this, there must be those who don’t want to come but come anyhow and those who don’t want to cry but cry anyway. This is going against one’s feelings and forgetting one’s given nature. The ancients would call this the punishment for denying the true nature.
When it was suitable to come into the world, the Master came at the right time. When it was suitable to depart the world, the Master left naturally. If one can calmly wait for the right moment and go with the natural flow, sadness and joy cannot enter the heart. The ancients would call that being released by the Emperor from hanging upside down.”
After listening to his words, the neighbors seemed to understand more, and then asked: “Since you are not sad, why did you cry out three times?” He laughed: “I cry three times, not because of sadness, but instead to bid a farewell to my friend Lao Tzu. The first cry was to tell him his birth suited the natural time and the second cry is also telling him that his death is in line with the natural reason. The third is because he taught the natural inaction of the truth is also in line with the nature of the other.”
After listening to him, the neighbors and friends all agreed that he was a true friend of Lao Tzu, so they wanted him to in charge the burial.
Here is the eulogy he wrote:
“Lao Tze-a distinguish sage, practice Tao for heaven, focus on great harmony, his works is imperishable.”
Everyone who appears in your life has a reason.
People who like you give you warmth and courage.
People you like help you learn about love and self-esteem.
People you don’t like teach you to be tolerant and respectful.
People who do not like you help you to see yourself and grow.
No one is present in your life for no reason, and the emergence of each person has a reason; they are worthy of gratitude.
You are happy because you take it lightly. You are content because you are not bothered by anything.
We are the guests of heaven and earth; there are many things in the world, and we cannot be their master.
For example, things of the past, and people who are separated from us.
The Chinese word for “Heart” has three dots; every dot wants to jump out.
The more you try to catch it, often the faster it will run away from you.
The lighter you treat life, the less pain you will feel.
Everyone is afraid of not being conscious, and hopes their mind is as clear as a mirror.
In the past, there was a prodigy; he believed he was brilliant and very knowledgeable. One day, he heard that there was a wise Zen Master who lived on Nanshan Mountain, so he decided to go to the Zen Master, to see what wisdom he had, and to know whether the master was more intelligent than him.
On the way, the prodigy was thinking of what question he should ask. At that moment, he saw a cow with a rope around its neck, with the other end of the rope tied to a nearby tree. The cow was anxious to get relief, so it circled the tree, wrapping the rope tighter and tighter around the tree, until its nose almost touched the tree, unable to go any further. So, the cow started to walk back, and as the rope gradually unwound, it loosened again. But it kept turning, so the rope was then wrapped around the tree in the other direction. It continued to turn around the tree, loosening and tightening the rope, again and again, unable to ever feel free of it. The prodigy saw this and thought that this would be a good riddle to give to the master.
The prodigy met with the Zen Master, and asked, “A cow circles a tree over and over again, clockwise then counterclockwise, and then repeats it. Why does it do this?”
The Master replied, “It is because the rope is not broken.”
The prodigy was shocked and asked the master how he knew that the cow had been tied to the tree when he had never mentioned it.
The Zen Master smiled and said, “I do not know, but anything that circles an object must be tied down by a “rope,” like fame or fortune. The consequence of being tied down like this is inevitable; it applies to both man and cattle. The obsession causes the binding; the deeper the obsession, the stronger one pulls, and longer one continues to circle. If this trend continues, a cow will become a mad cow, and a man will become a mad man.”
The prodigy quickly asked the master for a solution. He replied, “Quiet down your heart, do good things, and make yourself pure and spotless. Moreover, when you enter a state of absolute nothingness, you will be able to let go. Nothing can bind you; you will gain total freedom as a result.” The prodigy then finally realized that the Zen Master was truly a wise man.
He asked about the riddle and how the Zen Master had answered, and he said, “All answers are correct if you think about it the right way. Enlightenment does not depend on what you see, but on the essence of the lesson it teaches you.”
A sage man can elevate his energy and spirit through understanding the nature, or the essence, of the phenomenon.
Note: For the Chinese version, please refer to the following link-
|The Essence of the Lesson 團團轉|
This is a story that my friend told me:
Image from International Studies Abroad
An old couple decided to sell their house to move to Spain to retire after working all of their life in Edinburgh, England. Their house was surrounded by the sea, where the humidity was high, and the couple was susceptible to rheumatism.
The old man fancied a house in Spain but had to make a payment in two weeks, so the Edinburgh housing agency hung up a sign for rush sale.
A young Chinese couple happened to find jobs in the city. They were in a hurry to buy the house for kids to go to school in time. They saw the listing and it seemed to be the house that they were looking for.
The young couple took note of the words “home for rush sale.” They called the agent and asked whether they could get a discount.
The old couple had no choice because they needed to make the payment for the house in Spain. They gave them the discount.
But the young couple still felt that they could get a better deal. A couple of days before closing, they asked for a larger discount, or they would cancel the transaction.
Unexpectedly, the old couple agreed.
The young couple was overjoyed to get such a good deal.
Friends came to help them to move in.
Image from Pinterest
To their surprise, they saw a carpet of green grass, and flowers in bloom. It seemed as if the owners had just left. They were even more shocked when they entered the house.
The house was spotless, with bright windows and clean tables. On the table were some flowers in a vase with a note underneath, which read: ” Welcome to this house that gave us happy and memorable for decades. We wish that you would have the most joyous life here.”
The couple went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to see it full of food and drinks. The refrigerator also contained a note, which said: “We have prepared a week of supplies for you. You can go to the supermarket by taking a left and then another left; it is about 20 minutes away.”
The young couple was puzzled. How do you sell a house for enough money like this?
They went to look at the meter box, where they found another note, which read: “We have paid for you at least one month of electricity, so you have enough time to transfer the utilities.” but in the UK, it is troublesome to handle such procedures.
They were in awe and stood there and could not move.
At that moment, they lost the joy of moving into a new house.
If you like to read the original Chinese text, you can click the link below-
One lady hired a painter to paint the walls. When the painter walked into the house, he saw that her husband was blind. But the lady’s husband was very cheerful and optimistic, so the painter had a pleasant time working there and he never once mentioned the man’s physical impairment.
After he had finished the job, he gave the lady the invoice. The lady took a look and found a significant discount on their negotiated price. She asked the painter, “Why did you charge so much less?”
The painter replied, “I was very happy to work here in the presence of your husband, and he made me feel that my situation was not the worst. The discount serves as my gratitude to him because he did not make my work a hardship!”
Image from Franklin Painting, LLC
The painter’s admiration for her husband made her shed tears because…the generous painter had only one hand!
The moral of the story:
Although we can not change our lives, we can change our outlook on life;
Although we can not change our environment, we can change our state of mind;
Although we can not adjust our environments to adapt to our lives, we can instead adjust our attitude to adapt to all environments, so our attitudes will determine our fates!
The Chinese version of this article is posted on