January 19th, 2013

A Zen Master lived the simplest life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.

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  1. Virginia Urbach says:

    I’m reminded of the movie “Les Miserables” when JeanValjean attempts to steal the silver from the monastery, is apprehended by the police, returned to face the priest, but instead of exposing Valjean, the priest hands him 2 gold candle holder and tells Valjean that he forgot to take the 2 most important items. He tells the police that it is true that he gave the items to Valjean and sends the police away. This is a true measure of compassion.

  2. Leah says:

    Nice. Poverty is a condition of the soul.

  3. ian says:

    hi Virginia, I SO relate to that example. Thank you

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