Fire

One night, the old master lay in bed, knowing that hisĀ  time was near. He called his disciple over and said, “Before I die, I want you to know that you will be my successor. I have here a journal that has passed through seven generations of masters. Each one has added to the journal his own thoughts and insights into the Truth. Here, take this.”

“Master,” replied the disciple, “I have learned the Truth from you without the aid of any journal. I have no need of it.”

“Nevertheless,” said the master, “I want you to have it as a symbol that I have passed my knowledge and authority to you.”

The disciple then bowed and took the journal from the master’s outstretched hand. It did not stay in his hand for long as he promptly threw it into the fire that was keeping them warm.

At this, the master leaped up and shouted, “Are you insane? What are you doing? That was the knowledge of seven generations!”

The disciple replied, “You must be insane yourself. What are you saying?”

At this, the master clapped a hand on the disciple’s shoulder, and laughed long and hard until he had to lie down. In a moment, he passed away.

The Party

Some wealthy and influential people had heard about the master and they wanted to meet him, so they sent a messenger to invite him to a special banquet.

The master arrived at the party wearing beggar’s robes and the people were immediately repulsed and shooed him away. He immediately went home, washed his face, put on an expensive cloak, and returned to the party where he was immediately ushered into the circle of the rich and powerful.

He bowed to them, took off his cloak and draped it on his seat.

“I showed up a while ago but you shooed me away, so I hope you enjoy talking to the cloak because you have obviously sent your invitation to it, and not to me.”

And he walked away.

Surrender

The seeker approached the master and said, “I am ready to give up everything in order to find out the truth about God. I will give up my job, my money, my family, everything. Tell me, what must I do?”

“That is all well and good but there is one more thing you must give up for you to continue you quest,” said the master.

“And what is that?” said the seeker.

“You must give up your beliefs about God,” said the master.

“But why? I am trying to find God and you tell me to give up my belief?” said the seeker. He was shocked at the idea.

The master replied, “Your belief, your concept about God is the very thing that is hindering you from seeing him. Every time you say or hear the word ‘God’, it conforms to what you believe God to be. But a God who is contained in your definition about him is not the real God. A God who can reside in the finite space of your mind cannot be the infinite God.”

“Drop all your concepts of God. See reality as it is, unfiltered by the colored lenses of your beliefs. That is the only time true seeking can begin.” concluded the master.

Unmoved

Others are revolted, I am unmoved.

Gripped by desires, I am unmoved.

Hearing the wisdom of sages, I am unmoved.

I move only in my own way.

— Lu Yu

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