Is It Full?


A monk followed a Zen Master to learn Zen. After two years of study, he thought he had learned a lot of things and attained Tao. He was satisfied and wanted to bid farewell to the Zen Master.

The monk said, “Master, I feel I have learned enough.”
The Zen Master asked him, “What does it mean?”
The student replied, “Enough, it means it is already full, and can’t be loaded anymore.”

The Zen Master said, “All right. But before you go, help me fill a basin with stones.”
The monk quickly filled a basin with large stones and brought them to the zen master.
The Zen Master asked him, “Is it full?”

The monk said, “It’s full. It won’t fit more stones.”
The Zen Master picked up a few pebbles and put them in the basin. The pebbles fell into the spaces between the stones.
The Zen Master asked again, “Is it full?”
The monk said, “This time it’s full.”

The Zen Master grabbed a handful of sand and put it in the basin. The sand seeped into the cracks in the pebbles and stones, and the basin did not overflow.
The Zen Master asked again, “Is it full?”
The monk replied, “It’s full this time. I’m sure it won’t fit anymore.”

The Zen Master took a cup of water and poured it into the basin. The water also seeped into the sand, and the basin did not overflow.
The Zen Master asked one last time, “is it full?”

The monk had an epiphany immediately, he realized that what people think is only an illusion. The Tao of heaven does not overflow, and all things are filled. So all things will continue to grow, not to be filled, but learn anew. Everything in the world is changing ceaselessly, filled then emptied, gained then lost. When pushed to the limit, the Tao reverses but is never exhausted.

The image is from The Pursuit of Impact

满了吗?

一位僧人跟随一位禅师学禅,学了两年之后,自以为学了很多东西,已经得道了,就心满意足地向禅师请辞,就对禅师说:“师父,在您座下参学,我感觉已经够了。”

禅师就问他:“够了是什么意思?”

学僧回答说:“够了,就是已经满了,再装不下了。”

禅师就说:“那好吧。不过,在你离开之前,先帮我装一盆石子吧。”

学僧很快就装满了一盆大石子,端到禅师面前。“装满了吗?”禅师问他。

“装满了,再装不进去了。”

禅师就拿起几个小石子,放进盆子了,小石子并没有从盆里掉出来。禅师又问:“满了吗?”

“这次真的满了,肯定再也装不进去了。”

禅师又抓起一把沙子,放进盆里。沙子就渗进石子的缝隙,并没有掉出来。禅师又问:“满了吗?”

“肯定满了,沙子也装不进去了。”

禅师又拿起一杯水,倒入盆中。水也渗了进去,并没有溢出了。禅师又问:“满了吗?”

学僧当下顿悟,满只是人们以为的一种假象,天道不盈,万物不满。万物生生不息,不盈而常新。天地万物,都是一个动词,都在不停地变化之中,盈而后亏,得而后失,物极必反,天道不息。
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6a80502b0100q8il.htm

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