Emptying

Bowl

A man had contracted a then incurable disease and set out for a journey to find a cure. He traveled all over the Western world to find a medical doctor who could cure him. When he realized that nobody could, he started to knock on the doors of philosophers and great thinkers of the West to find out the meaning of the life. Nobody could give him THE answer.

Eventually the illness wasted him and he decided to go home to die. On his way back he met a yogi on board. The yogi said, “Follow me if you want the answer.” He followed the yogi to India without even asking where.
The man waited for the yogi to teach him the meaning of life day after day. Two months passed in vain. Finally, one day he walked up to the yogi and asked, “When do you teach me?”

The yogi answered, “I’ve been ready since the day we arrived here, and waiting for you to be ready day after day.” The man did not understand, since he was eager to learn from the first day.

Then, the yogi told the man to fill a bowl with cold water and bring it to him. He did. Then the yogi told him to pour hot water in the bowl. The man objected, “Any man from civilized world should know if you pour hot water in a bowl filled with cold water, it will overflow.”

The yogi said, “Now, you understand what I mean.”

I try to keep my bowl empty.  Will you?

You can find the original story in 天空先生座談 by  宇野千代

People love to teach what they think they know.  When somebody start to teach what they know and what I don’t know, I listen.  Free pearls to pick up.  I appreciate and take some with me.  I hold it dear till they become part of me.  A good teacher gives only what I could take.

Some have asked me to teach.  When I teach, many start to teach back to show what they think they know.  They are not ready to learn.  I stop teaching.  They don’t get pearls.

About the photo: Taken at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

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