Click here to hear today’s Warm and Fuzzy! WF 082613 Accept Or Refuse
There once lived an old Zen master who had once been a very famous Samurai warrior. The old man lived a quiet life in a small monastery in Japan. He spent his days in contemplation and study and he instructed young novices.
One day an arrogant warrior, looking to make a name for himself, passed through a neighboring village. He boasted of his many conquests and demonstrated his sparring skills on reluctant villagers. He bullied them and beat them until they pleaded with him to move on. Finally he did, and he made his way to the monastery intent on challenging the former Samurai and adding to his list of conquests.
The arrogant warrior found the Zen master sitting next to a tranquil pond contemplating the wonder and beauty of life. Hey old man, come and fight me, said the warrior. I’ve come to show you what a true fighter looks like. Stand up now and defend yourself! The Zen master however never even turned to face him. He continued his contemplation and remained sitting and silent. The reckless warrior tried again: Are you afraid of me? Come and take your beating. Prove to me that you are a master! Again, the old man refused to move. The arrogant young warrior continued his goading. He tried every trick he could think of to provoke the Zen master to fight. He threw rocks, shouted insults, and even spat on the old man.
True to his character, the Zen master was undeterred by the young warrior’s behavior. Before dusk, the warrior had become humiliated by the ordeal and left the monastery and village quietly. Still, many of his students were furious. Why did you allow him to treat you this way? They asked. You should have drawn your sword and given him a proper challenge! They insisted. Why did you just sit there and do nothing? They wanted to know. The Zen master finally spoke. If someone offers you a gift and you do not accept it, to whom does it belong? One of the students replied: It belongs to the one who offered it. In a quiet voice, filled with wisdom and peace the Zen master said: The same is true with anger, envy, hatred and insults. When they are not accepted, they forever belong to the one who holds them.
~ Choose life; choose love; let it go!