By SYZ站長 | 2020/02/11 |
Little monk is new to the temple and curious about everything.
It’s autumn. Red foliage flutters in the zen garden. Little monk asks Master, “These leaves are so beautiful, but why do they fall?”
Master smiles. “Winter is coming, the tree can’t hold on to so many leaves, so it must choose. The tree doesn’t give up, so it must choose to let go.”
It’s winter. Curious monk sees elder monks turning over the cisterns one by one. He asks Master, “There’s still good water in many of them, why must we pour the water out?
Master smiles. “Because when the water freezes, it will crack the tanks. To save them for the future, we should unload them now.”
A blizzard comes, sweeping piles of thick snow onto the junipers. Master asks the little monk to help him tip the potted saplings over.
The little monk is confused. “Aren’t saplings supposed to stand straight? Why lie them down?”
Master replied seriously: “Don’t you see how the snow is weighing them down? By laying them down, we are protecting them. We give them a rest, so they may stand after the snow.”
The winter is harsh and long, and with a global recession, the temple’s offering box is running empty. Even the little monk is looking to the Master anxiously. Master returns a glance.
“Have you been eating or wearing less?” Master replies. “Go see for yourself, how many clothes are there in the closet? How many piles of firewood are there in the shed? How many bags of potatoes are there in the barn? Stop thinking about what we don’t have, and think about what we do have; the hard times will pass, and spring will come. You need to let go of your worries, by being more mindful of what you have. This will calm your heart.”
Spring did indeed arrive, and the thawing snow made for even more blossoms than last year. Worshippers returned, and the offering box is full again. It is then that Master sets off on a very long journey. Little monk runs up to him at the mountain gate. “Master! When you are gone, what are we to do?”
Master smiles and waves his hand. “You have already learned how to let go, to unload, to rest up and to calm down. Why should I not be rest assured?”
Letting go is not letting alone. It’s not to abandon and it’s not giving up. It doesn’t indulge with abandon, nor does it abandon through rejection.
If you’ve learned to pick up, you must also learn to put down.
If you’ve learned to acquire, you must also learn to unload.
If you’ve learned to strive, you must also learn to rest.
If you’ve learned to care, you must also learn to trust.
If you’ve learned to hold on, you must also learn to let go.
Just as you need to take in order to give, you must give in order to take.