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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Enlightenment

There's a Chinese Taoist story...

A monk meditated for many years, and tried very hard to reach full awakening, but without success. The true treasure seemed always to recede from him, remaining mysterious and ungraspable.

Finally, in utter exhaustion, his life unfulfilled, the monk left his monastery and went up into the mountains to die. But as he was climbing up the road away from the village, there appeared before him an old man coming down the road with a great big bundle on his back.

Something about the old man caught the monk's attention. Was it the bliss in his eyes? Was it the sense of peace and harmony? He seemed like just an innocent fool, and yet...

On a hunch, the monk greeted the quiet old man and then asked his lifelong question: "Do you by chance know anything about this thing called enlightenment?"

As the monk finished speaking, the old man simply let go of his burden and it dropped to the ground.

The monk understood. And he, too, let go of it all. He surrendered his whole life, and the judgments and divisions, drowned into the gorgeous mystery, became drunk on the beauty of life. Died as a little self, was reborn as an ocean of spaciousness.

Enraptured in liberation, the monk laughed from his belly and cried out, "Just this!"

"Oh, I forgot, one more thing," the old man said. With that he once again shouldered his burden, faced gently towards the village, smiled a great big smile of love, and walked down the road.

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