The Wisdom of Life
One day, after not seeing each other for so many years, several Buddhists friends got together and wish to pay a visit to their Master, with whom they have took the Three Refuge. Being very glad to see them too, Master then asks everyone how are they doing in their lives?
Unexpectedly, this question has ticked everyone to expel all of their complaints that are in their minds. One after another begins to tell his/her troubles: working pressure is great, not doing well in business, promotion to a higher position got obstructed, and having difficulties with friend and relatives…
In silence, the Master smiles. He then takes out many cups from the kitchen and put them on the table. These cups come in various kinds and shapes. There are porcelain, glass, and plastic ones. Some cups seem luxurious and elegant; some seem ordinary, simple and crude.
The Master says: "You are all my disciples, I do not treat you as guests. If you are thirsty, pour yourself a cup of water."
Since everyone has just talked so much, they are very thirsty. Therefore, each person pickup a cup that he/she likes and pours himself/herself a drink. After everybody has a cup of water in their hand, the Master speaks again.
He points to the cups that are left on the table and said: "Have you noticed, that the cups you’ve took are the best looking and unique cups, and those plastic cups, no one picked them?"
Certainly, this is not strange, because everyone wish to hold a good looking cup in their hands.
The Master says: "This is the origin of our defilements! What everybody needs is water, and not the cup. But we will go and choose a beautiful cup consciously or unconsciously. Our life is also similar to this —life is like the water, then, family, money, work, and position are just like the cups. They are only tools that we use to hold the water of life. In fact, the quality of the cup does not influence the essence of the water. But if we pay too much attention to the cup, while tasting the water, we could not taste the light sweetness that is in the pure water. Isn’t this seeking troubles for oneself needlessly?"
Gold is empty, silver is empty too,
what is in ones hands after death?
Wife is empty, children are empty too,
does not accompany each other on the road to the netherworld.
Property is empty, land is empty too,
how many owners have they changed?
Fame is empty, profit is empty too,
just a pile of soil in the wilderness in an instant.