Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - May 12th, 2013 - Depth - 深度 - Shēndù

Depth - 深度 - Shēndù

Illumination
by morning light
warms the restless soul.
In the mind, everything
must be washed clean away.
The ocean's depths 
yet to be explored;
Our spirit-door
waiting be pried open.

There was once a sumo wrestler who, despite his grand stature, lost a great many of his matches. He consulted coaches and trainers trying to solve his problems. No one could show him how to win. Although he lacked neither strength nor skill, he lacked concentration and confidence.

Finally, he went to a temple dedicated to meditation and learned from the head monk. The aged master agreed to help the young man. He addressed him thus:

"Your name means Vast Ocean. Therefore, I shall give you this meditation to practice."

That night, the young man sat alone in the shrine and visualized himself amongst the waves. Gradually, the waves increased in size until he was lost in the surf. Dark clouds hovered overhead, adding to the deluge. On the horizon, an immense tidal wave blocked out the sun. In his mind, everything was washed away. Even the gods and their wooden altars were swept out to sea, but not the young man. He alone survived the surge.

Near dawn, the water settled and the young man could witness the aftermath. He lost everything, but he had never felt more alive. The aged master came into the room to check on him. Seeing the young man's expression, the monk knew that the night had been successful. The young man would never lose to himself again.

For each of us, it is only the depth of our character which determines the methods by which we face life. WE can either add to our character, or subtract from it. If we fritter away our life with distractions, we accumulate nothing. In order to achieve character, each day must attain a depth which cannot be successfully opposed. Those of us who are dangerously shallow rarely suceed when presented with struggle.