​Zen: Quiet waters run deep

Once, three scholars on the way to the civil service examination stopped to buy refreshments from a woman who sold pastries by the wayside. One man was calm and quiet, while the other two argued over literature. The woman asked where they were going. The latter two told her they were going to take the civil service examination. She said, “You two scholars won’t pass the exam: that other man will.”  The two men swore at her and left.

When the results of the examination turned out as the woman had predicted, the two scholars who had failed went back to find out how she had known they would not pass, while the third man would. They asked her if she knew physiognomy. “No,” she said, “all I know is that when a pastry is thoroughly cooked, it sits there quietly, but before it’s finished it keeps on making noise.”

In the same vein, life is resembles an exam which many fail miserably thanks to their attachment to empty talk and non-liberative paths and philosophies. The men who subtly experience truth become like deep clear lakes. There is an awareness in enlightenment that does not hanker for anything – for it encompasses in it a universal realization whose genius can be superimposed on anything else however mundane that may be. Alchemists term this as follows: Everything he touches turns into gold.

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