Buddhist Parables

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course , the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.  For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Breath

A student approached his master and said “Master, I am so bored watching my breath.  Just in and out, in and out.  I think I need to work with something more interesting.”  “I agree”, replied the master, “come with me.”  The master leads the student to the river.  He grabs the student by the neck and holds him under the water until he begins to struggle.  As he releases the sputtering, stuttering student, he asks gently, “Now are you bored with your breath?”

Leaving and Carrying

Two monks must cross the great river to reach the village on an errand for the monastery.   When they approach the river, a woman is struggling to cross.  One of the monks swiftly picks her up, carries her across the river, and places her on the  other shore. For monks, even being in the presence of a woman is forbidden.  After several miles, the other monk bursts forth “How could you do such a thing!  How could you touch a woman!”  Replied the other monk “I put that woman down miles ago.  But you are still carrying her.”
A student approached his master and said “Master, I am so bored watching my breath.  Just in and out, in and out.  I think I need to work with something more interesting.”  “I agree”, replied the master, “come with me.”  The master leads the student to the river.  He grabs the student by the neck and holds him under the water until he begins to struggle.  As he releases the sputtering, stuttering student, he asks gently, “Now are you bored with your breath?”

Heaven and Hell

I once heard a story about a visit to heaven and hell. In both places the visitor saw many people seated at a table on which many delicious foods were laid out. In both places chopsticks over a meter long were tied to their right hands, while their left hands were tied to their chairs.
In hell, however much they stretched out their arms, the chopsticks were too long for them to get food into their mouths. They grew impatient and got their hands and chopsticks tangled with one another's. The delicacies were scattered here and there.
In heaven, on the other hand, people happily used the long chopsticks to pick out someone else's favorite food and feed it to him, and in turn they were being fed by others. They all enjoyed their meal in harmony.

Photo - Rumi - It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you Image

It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you - Rumi