Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017-47 - Hell... and Heaven...

In feudal Japan, the fierce Samurai Warriors carried large swords and were highly skilled at using them.

One day, a famous samurai arrived at a monastery, where he flung open the door and demanded of a famed monk, "Tell me, what is heaven and what is hell?"

The monk sat still for a moment, then turned and looked up at the warrior. "You call yourself a samurai," he said. "Look at you. You're nothing but a wastrel!! I doubt you could cut off the head of a fly with your sword."

For a moment, the samurai stood gaping. Then, like a crazed bull, the samurai's face contorted in rage. He bellowed, "How dare you insult me thus!" Pulling his huge sword from its sheath, he raised it high above his head, ready to kill the old monk.

Unperturbed, the monk looked directly into the eyes of the furious warrior and said, "This is hell."

The samurai froze, and as the hatred and anger that had consumed him drained away, realized that this small, stooped man had risked his life to answer his question. Lowering his weapon, the samurai bowed to the monk, as tears of gratitude appeared in his eyes. "Thank you for your teaching," the samurai said humbly, with love for the monk's gift.

The monk smiled at the samurai and said, "And this, my friend, is heaven."

~ Author Unknown

Knowing others is Wisdom, Knowing yourself is Enlightenment.

~ Lao Tzu

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