Monday, August 15, 2011

Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors 4

This Zen story, Stop Comparing, about the futility of comparisons, is part of an eBook series 51 Short Motivational Stories from Zen, Buddha and Ancient Tales.

Having heard of the wisdom of a Zen master in the neighborhood, a Samurai (Japanese warrior) called upon the Zen master.

As he entered the Zen master’s home where a class was in progress, the proud Samurai felt a sense of smallness. He met the Zen master and queried, “I’m a proud warrior, but when I entered your home, I felt very inferior. I couldn’t understand the change.”

“Wait till the day is over and I’ll tell you,” replied the master.

The Samurai continued to wait till sunset and yet there was no sign of the master’s answer.

Then as if the master had read his mind, “Come, let’s go outside,” invited the master.

Once they stepped out, the master pointing to two trees in front of his home, said, “You see there are two trees here, a big one and a small one.”

“Yes sir,” replied the Samurai.

“They have been here for as long as I can remember. But not a single day have I heard them say “I’m big, you’re small” or “how come you are so big,” continued the master.

The Samurai listened quietly.

“Can you say why?” asked the master.

“Because they can’t compare,” replied the Samurai.

“There you have the answer to your own question,” said the Zen master.

Notes: Comparison often breeds contempt. You are always to be measured by your own actions. And not with anybody since each person is differently made. The “I” in you needs to be understood. It should not be allowed to seize your mind or it could bring you endless trouble.

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