September 21, 2010

What Is Valuable?

If you were to walk down dark alley and suddenly be held up by someone and they told you to give them your valuables, what would you give them? A watch, your wallet with money, jewelry? Joke would be on them for these are not really valuable. Perhaps in a material sense but not in the overall scheme of things.

Most valuable thing you can have is a complete understanding of the Tao and its ways. That is far more precious than any watch, amount of money, or jewelry. It would be such a wonderful thing if we could hand over our understanding of Tao even if it is somewhat limited to someone in dire need of it.

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing to steal. Kyokan returned and caught him. "You may 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. He tool the clothes and slunk away. Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, "I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."

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