A Zen Story – What do you really see?

All the man ever wanted to know was everything.

His life long search was to learn everything there is to life. But, he wasn’t able to find a master to satiate his curiosity. As always, life found a way to give this man what he was looking for. A rumor about a great master found it’s way to this man.

So, the man left in search of the master. He walked thousands of miles, climbed mountains and crossed rivers to reach this master, who was rumored to know everything about life.

After his relentless journey, he reached the master’s hut. The master sat in the midst of a crowd of disciples, who were hanging on to his every word.

The man was impressed. After all a master who can command such respect and undivided attention of so many must know everything. He sat in a corner and waited patiently for the master to finish his lesson.

Once he was done, the man approached the master and told him all about his persistent search for truth. The master got up and asked the man to follow him.They walked until they reached a bamboo field.

The master turned to man and asked him, “What do you see?”

The man replied. “Bamboos”.

The master pointed to a clump of short bamboos. “What about them?”

“They are short bamboos and the ones over there are taller.” the man replied.

“They are all bamboos”, the master said and turned back towards his hut.

Comparisons to make sense of the world

We see and understand the world as a series of comparisons. And we make comparisons based on the thing most familiar to us – Ourselves.

Someone is tall or short based on, if they are taller or shorter than us.

Wealthy or poor based on how much we have.

It’s cold or warm outside based on our body temperature.

Comparisons are useful to make sense of the world, but that is where it’s necessity ends.

No matter who you are , how much you have, how you look – you are you. And you are the best at being you.

Life is unpredictable. You might become poor or rich, famous, blind or even grow a pair of horns. Life can meander.

Letting life choose how we view ourselves is unfair.

Living true to ourselves, thinking about what we want out of life is hard. Playing someone else’s game is easy – which is why most of us do it. But winning the wrong game will deprive us of the satisfaction we should be feeling, when we acheive something.

Have you ever achieved everything you ever wanted and still feel empty?

The inner and outer score card

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.”

Warren Buffet

An outer score card is what you want – based on your ego, what people might think, what other people might want.

We as social animals, need to be accepted. This instinct pushes us to blend in, live another life, ignore what we really want.

We are animals, but most of our life is spent on curbing our animal instinct, doing what is right, righting the wrongs and rising above our instincts.

And what better way than to live true to ourselves and our beliefs?

We live in a world where social media plays an influential role in dictating our thoughts. Thoughts bleed into actions.

Does your friend’s vacation pictures take the joy out of your own vacation , no matter how perfect you thought it was at that time?

It’s time to take a good look at what you want and what you have. Map out the path you really want travel in.

How will you know if the place is right for you?

Ask yourself:

If you remove all of your wealth, abilities, beauty, What will you be left with? Are you happy with what you are? Are you able to see a bamboo just as a bamboo?

Posted by

I’m a bookworm, mom and have a daytime job that involves computers and tons of data. I believe we have the power to make our lives better and the right time to start is now.

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