The abbot of a once famous Buddhist monastery that had fallen into decline was deeply troubled. Monks were lax in their practice, novices were leaving and lay supporters deserting to other centers. He traveled far to a sage and recounted his tale of woe, of how much he desired to transform his monastery to the flourishing haven it had been in days of yore.
The sage looked him in the eye and said, “The reason your monastery has languished is that the Buddha is living among you in disguise, and you have not honored Him.” The abbot hurried back, his mind in turmoil
The Selfless One was at his monastery! Who could He be? Brother Hua?…No, he was full of sloth. Brother Po?…No, he was too dull. But then the Tathagata was in disguise. What better disguise than sloth or dull- wittedness? He called his monks to him and revealed the sage’s words. They, too, were taken aback and looked at each other with suspicion and awe.
Which one of them was the Chosen One?
The disguise was perfect. Not knowing who He was they took to treating everyone with the respect due to a Buddha. Their faces started shining with an inner radiance that attracted novices and then lay supporters.
In no time at all the monastery far surpassed its previous glory.
Zhuangzi told this story to his disciples to make a point:
Once a zookeeper said to his monkeys: “You’ll get 3 bananas in the Morning and 4 in the afternoon.” All monkeys are upset.
“OK. How about 4 bananas in Morning and 3 in the afternoon?”
Hearing this, the monkeys are content. One should realize that sometimes a change in phrasing does not represent a real change.
The wise banana
we use to do this for the kids, if you cut the banana at the end (where it attaches to the stalk) ask a question, then cut the banana. Either a Y or an N will appear. (Y and N = yes or no) The secret is that the closer to the stalk you cut you’ll get an ‘n’ and farther into the banana you cut, you see a ‘Y.’
sometimes you just gotta shake things up!
may you day not be filled with complacency