In life, we all carry with us some burden or the other. We are either reliving our past troubles or are worried about what is going to happen in the future. This state of mind stops us from achieving happiness. We are then constantly anxious and irate. But, this is not a healthy way of living. So, what can we do to bring about a change and get rid everything that has, so far, been pulling us back?
In this inspirational YoursWisely video, spiritual facilitator and storyteller Nithya Shanti once again narrates a story describing a light-hearted approach to a really wise way of living. He tells us of the real Zen monk ‘Laughing Buddha’, who lived in China about a thousand years ago. He had a reputation of being quite amicable and jovial, wandering from place to place with a big sack that had goodies inside of it. He would share them with children and they would love him. He would tell them stories, laugh and play in the mud with them, in a way creating a school of sorts.
One day, another Zen scholar saw this and thought of it as an inappropriate behaviour; unbecoming of monks. So he decided to confront the Laughing Buddha. He ambushed him one day and pulled out a sword, asking him to explain the true meaning of ‘zen’. The Laughing Buddha stopped smiling and released his big bag. The other monk, still not convinced, probed him some more, and asked him how one can realise zen. The Buddha picked up his bag, turned around and began to walk away. That is when the monk realised he had made a mistake. He threw his sword away and sought his apology.
The Buddha, Shanti says, without having said anything, conveyed some of the deepest lessons. “What is the meaning of ‘zen’? Put down the burden. What burdens are we carrying? Mental, emotional, from the past, worrying about the future. If we have picked up those burdens, we can also spontaneously put them down; right now, put them down,” he says.