The Story of Zen
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Years before, the only chrysanthemums in the village were grown by the lead monk in the temple garden. Three years later, in the fall, the garden became known as “the garden of chrysanthemums,” the fragrance wafting through the air to the village.
Everyone who visited the temple admired the garden. One day, someone asked the lead monk if they could take some chrysanthemums to grow in their yard. Quickly, the monk agreed and picked out the best, most colorful flowers for him. Soon, the news spread and people started to come, one after another, to ask for the flowers. In the eyes of this monk, those people were very close to him and deeply cherished. They were all good friends, and he could not deny them the flowers. Pretty soon, all of the flowers in the garden were gone. None was left.
Without the chrysanthemums, the garden was colorless and desolate. Seeing how barren the garden was, one of the disciples sighed and said, “What a pity. We had such color and fragrance and now we don’t even have a single flower. There is nothing left in the garden.”
Understanding their disappointment, the leader said, “Just think about it. In three years, the whole village will have chrysanthemums. Isn’t that better than having them only here? The whole village will be full of the wonderful fragrance.” When the disciples heard this, they felt the warmth of love from their leader and visualized the fantastic sight of the blooming of hundreds of chrysanthemums in the village.
The leader continued, “It is such a good thing to share, for everyone can enjoy this blessing. Even though we gave them out, with nothing left to us, we still feel the joy in our hearts. We truly own our happiness.”
The moral of this story is that spring does not arrive with the blossoming of a single flower. When you see hundreds of flowers blooming, you know that spring has come. Sharing brought not only the spring but also the joy to the village. What a great lesson that this lead monk taught us! That is when we have(or own) the happiness, we can always give or share with the others. The happiness resides within; it is not affected by the material outside. Moreover, It is more delightful to share the joy than to keep it to oneself.