May 2, 2010 § 6 Comments
At a party yesterday, I was introduced as a dog whisperer and a poet. I aspire to both – although you read my poetic musings and don’t hear about my dog obsessions. But today instead of a poem (I do have the first line “If I could whisper a poem…”), I thought I’d whisper your hearts and minds by sharing this Buddhist teaching. It shouted to me.
The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the Master asked.
“Terrible,” replied the boy.
The Master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and after the boy swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the Master said, “Now drink the water from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Good!” answered the boy.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the Master.
“No,” said the young man.
The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the “pain’” depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things…”