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Zen Story: Wealth cannot buy enlightenment

A wealthy businessman had a child who was very hard to manage, and so he sent him off to a Zen Temple nearby, hoping that this type of training would do him some good.

The young fledgling monk on his very first day there walked up arrogantly to the master, sitting peacefully on his cushion, on the stone floor of the temple.

“This is my first day here, enlighten me,” he says.

The master looks up from the letter that he was writing, and he says to the student.

“Is that your only desire?”

The student laughs loud, derisively:

“Yes”, he answers, “Why else would I come here?”

The master said quietly, “Even that must go.”

then the master smiled broadly, as he added, more loudly.

“Desire is the biggest trap of all. Desire nothing and receive everything. Nothing needs to be desired, because you have it all already.”

(Some of us are chained to our desires)

The student didn’t as yet grasp the true meaning of the master’s words.

“Yeh, yeh,” he replied, “That’s because my father is a wealthy businessman.”

“Real wealth is not inheritable,” the master thought to himself, without saying it, as it would have fallen on death ears.

A comment about my story:

I will add this comment here about wealth and enlightenment.

The wealth of love buys nothing, and yet it obtains enlightenment for you.

Love is the key that opens the treasure chest of your life for you in life, and it is only closed when your mind will not try the right key.

Don’t let your love stay a wooden one stuck only in your mind as a thought. Put it into action!

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Written by The Dunce

I like to write from time to time, short stories, poetry, and deeply questioning articles, mainly about spiritual subjects, or personal development type things, of interest to me.

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17 Comments

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    • Thanks for your comment here.

      Yes, Buddha said that our suffering stems from our desires. We suffer because we become attached to these desires.

      If, we could remain detached, and just examine these desires as they arise, we might understand them better then.

      Most of our progress in life comes from such understanding, gained from not desiring/wanting always our own outcome from things, and events, in our lives.

          • Thanks, for your replies.

            The connection between will, and attachment is a rather subtle one though, I think.

            The will that is strongest (or seems strongest) is often ego based, so it then defeats the purpose of itself, but there is another type of a will, based on the truth, the deep knowing of it, and the consciousness to follow it, through our aware connecting to it from a base of love and correct being, or conscience, connected to the greater conscience, so we live rightly to be rightly then.

            True will is a part of this as it purports/equates to being our free will choice in our doing so.

            Free will choices are better made as we grow in awareness and consciousness though, and so the paradox of life is that we are trapped by ego, but freed by the living from the truth in our soul.

            And this choice, is really only a freely made one, when we have developed the proper will, consciousness, and awareness, to be able to choose wisely like this for, and from, our real true self.

  1. I have heard horror stories from rich celebrities who say that fame and fortune brings stress to them since they make friends from people in the past who rejected them. Happiness is helping others without expecting a reward right away.

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