Tao 9: Counter Intuition

If you fill your bowl to the brim, it will surely spill. If you keep sharpening you knife, it will become blunt. 9.1

A learned scholar from the West, a Professor, sought out a Zen Master from a remote province in Japan to advise him on inner energy. When the Professor arrived at the Zen Monastery, the Zen Master was in meditation. The Professor was led to a waiting room, where he paced impatiently.

As soon as the Zen Master arrived, the Professor introduced himself at length. He talked about all the work he had done and where he had published. The Zen Master listened politely. While listening he started pouring tea from the pot into the cup in front of the Professor.

As the Professor kept talking, the Zen Master continued to pour. Soon the cup overflowed. Professor was agitated. He shouted, ‘Can’t you see the cup is full and it can’t hold anymore?’

The Zen Master smiled, ‘So is your mind, Professor!’

Still your mind and empty it of thoughts. Only then it reveals your inner energy!

Pursuing wealth and safety hardens your mind and heart. Needing others attention makes you their prisoner. 9.2

Why do we gather wealth, name and fame? Do they add any value to our inner energy? we think that material possessions make us look good in front of others. We feel good if others feel good about us. Why?

Because we have no good feeling about ourselves. This in turn saps our inner energy.

If we have self-esteem, why would we seek someone else’s attention and respect? We need all that only when we have no esteem and respect for ourselves.

Forget about others. Do what makes you happy. Indulge in your passion. Enhance your inner energy.

what you have to do. Do what is right. Do not worry about outcome. Step back. Relax and let go. You’ll be in peace. 9.3

The process defines the outcome. Constantly worrying about how the dish will turn out, will not help you cook a better meal. Nor will it make you a better cook.

When you cook without thinking, yet following the process you know well, you need not worry about the result. It will be good.

The journey matters. If the journey is joyful, the result too will be.

Let life lead you. Follow your heart and be joyful. All will be right.