Thursday, April 17, 2008

no furry bridesmaids here.

This is one of the many great things Kyraninse said to me over the other day. I am putting it here while I am busy organising some of the others into a post of blogginess. (Meanwhile, go read her introspective post on race issues fatigue).

There's a story about buddhism. Once, there was an old woman who gave a meal to a monk. Before the monk left, at the old lady's request, he told her a mantra that would lead to enlightenment. Unfortunately, as the old woman was going rather deaf, she mis-heard it. Not having a rosary, the old woman would drop a bean from one pot to another as she recited this mantra --

One day, a monk was passing by a hovel when he saw a strange golden aura coming forth and he knocked on the door. He was very surprised to see naught but an old woman, and he hastened to ask her how she had achieved her spiritual growth.

She said, a monk told me to recite "blargh". The monk was surprised and told her, but you've been saying it wrong this entire time! The old woman was, naturally, somewhat upset, and wanted to learn the correct version. The monk told her the correct version, and then, quite pleased with himself, set off again. By chance, as he was walking away, he saw that the golden glow had disappeared.

He realized that he, in fact, was the person in wrong and hurried back to tell the old woman that he was terribly sorry, but she was right and he was, in fact, wrong. She had been taught another version that was also correct, and it didn't occur to him until he had thought about it some more. The old woman thanked him for coming back to tell her this and sent him on his way again,.

and only the monk knew how close it had been, and of his relief when he saw the golden glow gradually turn brighter as he walked away again.

SO -- it's intent that matters.

people can tell you you're wrong till they're blue in the face, but that doesn't make them right. not even if it's that irritating niggling voice at the bottom of your brain.

1 comment:

Dee said...

That... is like the greatest story I've read this week!