Monday, March 19, 2007

A Buddhist Parable

There once was a simple man who was fascinated by water; so fascinated, in fact, that he wished to find a container that would hold all the water he could wish.

He started with a container as big as a teacup. It soon began to overflow, and he began to cry for all the water lost.

He then found a bucket, and began to fill it. Soon it, too, began to overflow, and the man began to cry.

Then he decided he had done too little, relying too much on what others made. So he dug a ditch six feet by six feet by six feet and began pouring water into it. After a while it, too, began to overflow, and he began to cry.

And so it went; the simple man digging bigger and bigger holes in order to contain more and more water. But every one of them began to overflow, inducing much sorrow for the water lost.

At long last, he gave up, almost in despair. Mourning his inability to do the work required to make a container to hold all the water one could wish, he began to walk. And after a while he came to the ocean, which he had seen many times before, but had never much considered before.

He sat down by the ocean, which no man has ever made, which is full of water, and is always filling with more water, and yet never overflows.

And he was content.

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