A spiritual teacher grew tired of his student complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the student returned, the teacher instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” the teacher asked.
“Bitter,” said the student.
The teacher chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the student swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the teacher asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the student.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the teacher.
“No,” said the young man.
At this, the teacher said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. . . . Stop being a glass. Become a lake.” ~ Mark Nepo