Monday, 11 February 2008


A young girl in a fishing village became pregnant. Her parents were really angry with her and beat her until she revealed who the father was. “The father is the Zen master who lives in the temple,” she cried. Her parents and all the villagers were completely scandalised and outraged. After the baby was born, they took the baby to the temple and shouted at the master, “This is your baby, you hypocrite, you take care of it!”
“Very well! Very well!” replied the master.

He took the baby in and fed it and cared for it. Of course, after this the master lost his reputation, his disciples left him and no one came to consult him, but he enjoyed the baby’s company, watching it smile and develop. This went on for a year. Eventually the girl riddled with guilt confessed. The father was not the master but a local neighbour boy. When her parents and the village learned of this, they returned to the master, apologised and asked for the baby back. “Very well! Very well!” said the master.

Can we roll with what life throws at us with the same freedom?

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