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Be the Lake
A Zen Story
A man came to an elderly Zen master and complained about his problems and sufferings in life.
The old master listened to the man carefully and handed him a handful of salt.
The man was confused. The man wondered if this magical salt would wash away all the pain and suffering in his life.
The master then instructed the man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and drink it. The man did as the master. “How does it taste,?” asked the master curiously.
“Disgusting, Not good at all,” said the man as he spat the salty water.
The master chuckled at the man’s reaction. He then asked the young man to take the same salt in the lake nearby.
The two walked to the nearby lake, and the man was told to swirl the salt into the lake.
“Now drink the water from the lake,” instructed the master.
The young man drank the water from the lake without any problem.
“How does it feel?” asked the master.
The man was thirsty and thoroughly enjoyed the cool water of the lake. “It is perfect. I can’t taste any salt, ” the young man replied.
The master then sat next to the troubled man, took his hands and said,
” The pain in life is like pure salt. It remains the same, But the amount we taste of our suffering depends on the container we put it into. So, when you are in pain, you can enlarge your sense. Make your heart bigger with compassion and empathy. Stop being glass and try being like a lake. Then the troubles in your life will not cause you much suffering. “
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