An Unmanned Ship

Empty boat

Imagine you were alone, piloting a boat in the rapids. Suddenly, there is a violent impact from behind, almost putting you off course and into the rocks. Most people would lash out in anger at the pilot of the other ship. But if when you look back and see that it was an empty ship that had been blown in by the wind, the anger in most people’s hearts tends to disappear immediately, with a knowing smile, as if nothing had happened. Why do people act differently towards an empty ship?

Zen means that you have no internal or external chaos, you are merely Still. Through meditation, you will not be affected by the environment. If you are satisfied and content then you need not search outwardly. You will be unaffected by the situation, and free from emotional control. Thus you attain the realm of doing nothing, being free and plentiful.

“If a man crosses a river
and an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even if he is a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees another man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing.
All because someone is in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and would not be angry.
If you can act as if every boat is empty
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.”

― Chuang-Tzu

Empty boat
The image is from MyLifeYoga




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