The Woodcutter & The Wise Man

Life | Wisdom | Spirituality | Awakening

The Woodcutter & The Wise Man

Once in a village, lived a poor man who was a woodcutter. He would go to the forest every day to cut wood and sell it in the market to live. His income from selling the wood was very low.

One day when he was cutting wood in a forest, he saw a wise man meditating. He went near to the wise man and sat in front of him. After a while, when the wise man opened his eyes, the woodcutter asked him:

“O Wise One, I am very poor, please give me a solution to my problem.”

The wise man replied: “Go forward.”

The woodcutter believed the words of the wise man and started walking forward. After a while, he reached a sandalwood forest. The woodcutter became very happy. He started selling sandalwood in the market and he became rich.

One day in his days of prosperity he thought: “The wise man told me to go ahead and I found the forest with the sandalwood. I must go to him once again. Maybe he can guide me to something more precious.”

Thinking this, the woodcutter went to the forest to meet the wise man. The wise man was sitting immersed in meditation. After a while, when he opened his eyes, the woodcutter asked him:

O Wise One, by Your grace I found the sandalwood forest. Please give me some more advice.

The wise man again replied: “Go forward.”

The woodcutter heard the advice of the wise man and went forward. Going a little further, he found a goldmine. Now the woodcutter became wealthier after getting gold from mines and he continued living his life happily.

After some time the woodcutter thought about the wise man and went to the forest to see him. The wise man was sitting peacefully in meditation. The woodcutter asked again the same question and the wise man again replied: “Move forward.”

The woodcutter heard the advice of the wise man and went forward. This time he found diamonds, rubies and pearls. The woodcutter became very rich and prosperous. He was living a life in all luxuries but one day he thought: “The wise man knew so much! He could have been wealthy himself but he didn’t use any of these precious things. Why?”

He couldn’t think of any reason and at last, he decided to visit the wise man once again. He went to the forest to meet the wise man and when he met him, he asked:

“O Wise One, you told me to go forward and told me the whereabouts to wealth and prosperity but I have one question that I can’t stop thinking. Please tell me, why you didn’t choose to become rich by having these things yourself?”

The wise man replied: “What you are saying is correct but I have gone further than you can most probably imagine. I have gone further than diamonds and rubies. Going forward I have found such a pleasure compared to which these diamonds and rubies are equal to mud and clay. I have found that special thing!”

The woodcutter got very curious and asked: “What’s that? Please tell me!”

The wise man smiled and replied: “I have found Inner Happiness which I have found through meditation. In comparison to Inner Happiness, even the biggest pleasures of the world become Insignificant.”

Hearing this, the woodcutter fell at the feet of the wise man and said: “How foolish can I be, you have a wealth of Inner Treasure and I kept asking you for pebbles and rocks. Please tell me, how can I find this Inner Happiness? I don’t know how to meditate, please guide me!”

The wise man said this is easy! It is very easy to meditate! Just sit down comfortably and start observing what is going on inside your mind. If there is an experience, don’t hold on to it, let it come and let it go. Keep witnessing your thoughts until your thoughts calm down completely. When there is no experience, no thoughts, then you will be in a meditative state. Then there will be neither the observer nor the observed. Then there will be only a zero and in that void of the zero the lamp of Realization burns.

Hearing this from the wise man, the woodcutter understood that True Happiness is not in the outer wealth and comforts but within us, we just need to find it.

Story Contemplation

The Story of the Wise Man and the Woodcutter tells us about the deepest and truest joy that man can experience. All material goods are good in terms of just using them, but man cannot reach Fulfillment through them. He will always lack something, he will always want to acquire something in order to have at least some moments of ‘joy’, which will also fade over time just like his previous ‘things-games-joys’.

This happens because the joy that material goods give us are external factors and not internal Conquests-Realizations. As long as man continues to ask endlessly trying to find happiness, he will have to wait forever, since no external factor will ever give him Happiness, Peace, Health, Love.

The way to start tasting what it’s like to be the Happiness you seek, what it’s like to be the Peace you seek, what it’s like to be the Health you desire and what it’s like to be the Love you long for, is Meditation. The Story of the Wise Man and the Woodcutter, makes us observe the two characters of the story and their attitude towards life… the Woodcutter who keeps asking and always wants more so that he can repeatedly experience the short-term limited feeling of material pleasure and the Sage who has stopped looking here and there for temporary pleasure by understanding that material things are simple things and only by looking within you can “Experience and Find”. It only takes one question for the Woodcutter to change his ways.

Happiness is an internal affair, it is a state of ‘unaffected by the psychological self’ Mind, which is also unaffected by external stimuli-things.

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Μετάφραση Ζεν (Τσαν) Διδασκαλίας – Σύνταξη άρθρου – Δημιουργία Βίντεο Awakening Teachings
禅故事翻譯者——文章作者——Awakening Teachings《觉醒教导》 視頻作者
禅故事翻译者——文章作者——Awakening Teachings《覺醒教導》 视频作者
Translation of the Zen 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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