Heaven & Hell

A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk. “Monk,” he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience, “teach me about heaven and hell!”

The monk looked up at this mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain, “Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you anything. You’re dirty. You smell. Your blade is rusty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my site, I can’t stand you.”

The samurai was furious. He shook, got all red in the face, was speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword and raised it above him, preparing to slay the monk.

“That’s hell,” said the monk softly.

The samurai was overwhelmed. The compassion and surrender of this little man who had offered his life to give this teaching to show him hell! He slowly put down his sword, filled with gratitude, and suddenly peaceful.

“And that’s heaven,” said the monk softly.

~Zen

This excerpt is taken from the book, “Soul Food: Stories to Nourish the Spirit & the Heart

Find Peace

 

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