Happiness is a five-word suggestion

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Awakening Teachings 覺醒教導 Happiness in life is just a five-word suggestion-Taoist Wisdom

The Taoist Sage and the advice to two young men
Only a bowl of rice! Only a difference of thought!

Once upon a time in ancient China, there lived a Taoist Sage who was known for his ability to solve difficult problems. One day, he had two visitors who needed his advice. Both were polite young men, and each insisted that the other should go first. After some discussion, they discovered that their questions were essentially the same, so they settled on speaking with the Sage at the same time.

One of the young men asked: “Master, our problems are similar. We are both low-level employees being treated badly at work. We get no respect at all, and our employers constantly push us around. Can you please tell us if we should quit our jobs? What should we do?”

The Sage closed his eyes and meditated at length. The two young men waited the Sage patiently, until finally he opened his eyes. He gave them the answer in five words: “Only a bowl of rice.”

The two young men thanked the sage and departed. They contemplated the answer as they walked back to the city. After a while, one of them broke the silence: “That was interesting. What do you think the sage meant?”

The other one was thoughtful: “Well, it’s fairly obvious that the bowl of rice represents our daily meals.”

“I agree,” said the first young man. “I think he was telling us that the job is nothing more than a means to make a living.”

“Yes, when you come right down to it, that’s all we get out of the job — our daily meals.”

They went their separate ways. One of them continued working at the same place. The other one submitted a letter of resignation immediately upon his return. He went home to the countryside and took up farming.

After several years, this young man achieved considerable success as a farmer. He used what he had learned in the city to import high quality seeds. The fruits and vegetables he grew became known as the best in the region. He enjoyed not only great profits, but also a reputation as an expert.

The young man who remained at work also did well. It was as if he became a different person. He took on difficult tasks and demonstrated an ability to handle adversity. He rose up through the ranks and received one promotion after another, until he became a manager.

One day, the two of them met again by chance. Once they got caught up with one another, they realized that they had taken two very different paths — based on the exact same answer from the sage. They were both wealthy and happy, but which path was the correct one?

“How strange!” the manager was puzzled. “The Master said the same thing to us, and we both heard it the same way. Why did you quit?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” the farmer was also puzzled. “I understood his words immediately. The job was nothing more than the means to get my daily meals, so why force myself to stay in a horrible situation just for a bowl of rice? Quitting was obviously the right thing to do. Why did you stay?”

“I also think it should be obvious,” the manager laughed. “The job meant nothing more than a bowl of rice, so why was I getting so worked up over it? As soon as I understood this, I realized there was no need for me to get so upset. I did not have to take the abuse heaped on me personally, so of course I stayed. Isn’t that what he meant?”

“Now I am completely confused,” the farmer shook his head. “Did he mean for us to take your path or my path? Let’s go see him again and get to the bottom of this.”

Once again they presented themselves before the sage and explained the reason for their visit. “As you can see, Master, we would really like to know the real meaning of your advice all those years ago. Can you give us some insights?”

Again the sage closed his eyes. The two men waited patiently as before. After a spell, the sage opened his eyes and gave them his answer… again in five words: “Only a difference of thought.”

Story Contemplation

Break the Duality within you! There are no right and wrong decisions when it comes to the things you choose in life as long as your decisions are in harmony with the Tao, in harmony with your Heart. At that state there are no wrong life decisions, as deep down you will know what you want!

Two important Teachings are given to us from this story.
1) Nothing is set as right or wrong in the Tao, 2) A single thought has the power to change our life.
First we come out of the slumber of opposites, and then we free our Mind so that with a clear Eye, Heart and Mind we can choose!

By unlocking our perspective we can change everything!

The Tao is not only present in the Material and the Immaterial world, the Formed and the Formless, the Universal and the Earthly, the macrocosmic and the microcosmic.
It is present even in all the in-betweens, in what we consider insignificant.
With the opening of vision and consciousness, the important and the insignificant disappear as a way of thinking and we open our eyes to a world of unlimited options and possibilities!

In the first teaching, the Sage did not tell them what the right answer was, as in he did not give them the right choice.
To inprison the Minds and Hearts of people is wrong and brings unhappiness.
The Liberation of Mind and Heart is the most important of all!

The right way of thinking is an illusion, it can not give us the right answer or the right choice since all people are different and happiness is a personal matter.

The first teaching of this story is that nothing is set or limited in Tao as right and wrong.

The two young people took seemingly different paths in their lives and faced the same problem of staying or leaving this job. How can I change the present bad situation I am experiencing?
Although they took different paths and made seemingly opposite choices, they each succeeded in their life and became happy and rich.

There are no opposites within the Tao, only infinite choices within the scale of possibilities. Right and wrong is subjective as far as happiness is concerned.

Like rivers, whatever road you take, you will eventually reach the sea. You will become one with the All. You just have to choose the path you will take according to how you want to live your life.

There is no better inner path and unique way to touch the Divine.
This perspective is a state of Mind that embodies the Tao.

Every individual’s mindset will produce a vastly different outcome to their life path. This is the second teaching of the story. One advice has many different ways of interpreting.

You need to pay attention in the way of interpretation as by the look of it, the first teaching shows that no matter what you choose, it will all be fine… We are not talking about randomness or distorted perspective.

The Sage showed us that a single thought, a single choice is enough to change our lives, to change the world.
All roads lead to the sea, but some are more difficult.

A random choice from immaturity or recklessness can increase the time and losses to reach the destination.
A mature and well-considered choice can reduce the time and losses to reach one’s destination.
You have to be careful and see clearly whether it is your enthusiasm or your Heart speaking. The first one often blinds you. The second one leads you.

In the end, both young people made the right choice. However, that was purely by luck since they were not on a path of self-improvement. They simply followed a voice from within which resonated strongly in every cell of their body.

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Μετάφραση Ταοϊστικής Διδασκαλίας – Σύνταξη άρθρου – Δημιουργία Βίντεο Awakening Teachings
道教故事翻譯者——文章作者——Awakening Teachings《觉醒教导》 視頻作者
道教事翻译者——文章作者——Awakening Teachings《覺醒教導》 视频作者
Translation of the Taoist Teaching – Author of the article – Awakening Teachings Video Creator
Σανιδόπουλος Νικόλαος – Sanidopoulos Nikolaos / 釋延濟 – 释延济(Shì Yán Jì)
34ης Γενεάς του Σαολίν – 34th Generation from Shaolin Temple
少林34代釋延濟師父 – 少林34代释延济师父

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