Zen Story: Life’s Purpose in a Drop of Water

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A Zen master asked a young student to bring him a pail of water to cool his bath.

The student brought the water, and after cooling the bath, threw the remaining water over the ground.

“Think,” said the master to the student. “You could have watered the temple plants with those few drops you have thrown away.”

The young student understood Zen in that exact moment. He changed his name to Tekisui, which means drop of water, and lived to become a wise Zen master himself.

Reflection: In our search for knowledge, we are so concerned with finding the big answers (enlightenment, happiness, wisdom) that we sometimes forget the significance of ordinary moments. Like the student who wants Zen wisdom but is careless in his routine chores, we too can forget that our life’s purpose can be found in the smallest of moments – and that our every word, thought and action (like drops of water) holds unique meaning on our path.

 
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