Updated: Apr 13, 2021
A famous Zen master was not long for this world. His disciples sat around him, waiting for the master to tell them the secrets of life and the universe. Eyes closed, the master kept silent. Suddenly, he asked his disciples: "How do you get rid of weeds?" The disciples were stunned, not expecting the master to ask such a simple question.
A disciple said: "Shovel all the weeds with a spade!" Hearing that, the master nodded with a smile.
Another disciple said: "We can burn the weed with fire!" The master remained the smile.
The third disciple said, “Put lime on the weeds to get rid of them!" The master kept smiling.
The fourth disciple said: "Their methods wouldn't work because the roots are still there. You have to dig them out to eliminate the weeds. The roots must be removed."
When the disciples finished speaking, the master said: "You all said very well. Starting from tomorrow, you divide this piece of land into several parts and remove the weeds according to your own ways. We will meet here again this time next year!"
A year after, the disciples arrived there very early. They had tried all kinds of methods but failed to eliminate the weeds, so they had given up the task before long. Now they came just to see what method the master had used.
The original weedy land of the Zen master had disappeared and was now replaced by golden crops. The disciples suddenly realized: growing crops on the weedy land is the best way to get rid of weeds.
Food for thought:
Trying to get rid of something seems to be a very hard task. We may want to change a bad habit or forget something that keeps bothering us. Instead, try to foster a good habit or remind ourselves with something positive and righteous. It is because that the mind is like a piece of land. When we grow virtues on it, the afflictions will disappear.
Do you have any “weeds” that you want to remove? Are you growing your “golden crops”?
Thank you for your reading!