A zen master and a student were making their way through a market. The place was noisey, many people talking, dealing, bargaining, selling. As they made their way from table to table, the master stopped and inquired the price of lemons.

“These are 10 for a dollar,” the merchant stated. The zen master picked out three large lemons and handed them to the student. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a one dollar bill, then handed it to the merchant.

“I said they are ten for a dollar but they are fifteen cents each.” The merchant then turned and yelled at some kids that were fumbling through the oranges. “Hey, get away from there.” He yelled at the children and they ran off. He then turned and yelled at his wife, “Get out here and keep these kids from stealing my fruit.” He then turned back to the zen master, “What will it be? Fourty five cents for three or ten for this dollar?”

The zen master reached in his pocket and pulled out a handful of change. The master shook the change in his hand and the coins clattered as they scattered enough for him to pick out fourty five cents. He handed it to the merchant as the merchant handed back the master’s dollar. The master bowed and left.

Then the master walked up to a table that offered various pots and pans. He broused the table for a moment then asked, “How much is this tea pot.” The merchant at this table thought for a moment, rubbing his beard, looking at the monks.

“For you sir, 3 dollars.” The master reached in his pocket and pulled out the three dollars and handed it to the merchant in exchange for the used tea pot. The master bowed and the two monks left.

Later, as they were walking back to the monastary, the student began to reflect on the merchant with the fruit. “Master why did the fruit merchant sell ten lemons for a dollar and sold them individually for fifteen cents each? Why did you not try and barder with him, he might have given them to you for less.”

“To be rid of them as soon as possible, for they will spoil in time. To sell them for fifteen cents each, he hopes to encourage the buyer to buy ten rather than one at a time. We do not need ten lemons, for they will spoil or dry out before we can use them. It is better to buy a few fresh ones at a time rather than keep ten that will not be used.” The master stopped and turned toward the student. He reached in his pocket and pulled out all the change he had and put it in one hand. He then reached in his pocket and pulled out the dollar bills he had and reached outward toward his student.

“Coins, always make noise, but paper moneys are always silent. So, when your value increases you become more silent and humble. Like that of the honorable merchant who sold us the tea pot. The fruit merchant was yelling at his wife and the kids, like that of the coins, making a lot of noise, understand?” The student bowed, they were silent for the rest of the walk back to the monastary.

By Art 2013


this story came from reading this..

people are like bank accounts, without a lot of money they don’t generate a lot of interest.