Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back at his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather. Definitely, this would need thousands of cows’ skin, and would cost a huge amount of money.

Then one of his wise servants dared himself to tell the king, “Why do you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money ? Why don’t you just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet ?”

The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his suggestion, to make a “shoe” for himself.

Moral: There is actually a valuable lesson of life in this story : to make this world a happy place to live, you better change yourself – your heart; and not the world.

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…change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change… Jane Derry – Effective and intuitive counselor, helping people untangle their lives to clarity and peace of mind.

Zen Ghost Story (about change)

 A man’s jealous wife was very ill. Before the woman died, she made her husband promise that he would remain ever faithful to her even after death. “If you betray me, I will come back to haunt you!”

The man kept his promise for one year. Then he met, fell in love, and proposed to another woman. On the very night of the engagement, the ghost of his former wife appeared. The spirit angrily berated her husband, and told him she would show up every night if he did not cancel the upcoming wedding. The grim spirit showed up night after night and mockingly told the poor man of every thing he and his fiancé had done during their day together. The ghost even knew what they had eaten and talked about. The man became afraid to go to bed. He was falling apart.

In despair, the fellow went to a Zen master for help. The master listened to the story very seriously. He said, “This is a very cunning ghost!”

“Yes!” cried the man, “she knows everything I do, she watches me all day long, and taunts me with the details”.

The master replied, “I will tell you what to do to break the spell and let your jealous dead wife’s spirit rest in peace.” That night when the ghost reappeared, the man followed the master’s instructions.

He told the ghost, “Cruel Spirit! You follow me around all day, and know everything I do. If you are so smart, then answer my one question. If you know the answer, I will remain a bereaved and lonely widower for the rest of my life.”

The ghost answered, “What is your question?”

The man scooped up a handful of beans from a large bag on the floor. “Tell me exactly how many beans there are in my hand.”

In that moment, the ghost disappeared and never returned.

Moral: (my interpretation of course) I felt this was a story about those who feel the need to control things. Those who feel they know everything and in this case possessive. Confront them with a question they can not answer and you have shattered their reality. If you click the link above and read the article that goes with this story, it is derived that the story is to make you think outside the box and promote contemplation.

 

may the winds of change be graceful to you

 

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