Enlightenment

A Zen Story - 'The Wave'

Interpreted by Stephen Haynes

Once upon a time, no one knows where, but far, far out to sea a little wave was taking a real pounding from a whole host of much larger waves. "Stop! Stop!" Cried the little wave, but the larger waves just kept on pounding.

After a while the little wave, tired, pounded and definitely frustrated met a medium size wave. The medium size wave said, 'Hello, how are you little wave?" The little wave said, "Oh! How I suffer so. The other waves are so big, and I'm so tiny Why, oh why, are some of the waves so well off, when I'm almost nothing?"

The medium wave pondered this question for a few moments. Then a large grin appeared on his face as he replied, "The reason you feel so bad about yourself is that you haven't yet seen clearly your 'actual self'. That's why you suffer so much." The little wave blinked rapidly as he tried to absorb this piece of complicated wisdom. "Do you mean to tell me then, that I'm not, as I thought, a wave?" said the little wave really confused. "If you mean to tell me that I'm not a wave, then what am I?"

The medium wave drew himself up to his medium height and said, "A wave is just your temporary form. You're really water!!" "Water!!" Shrieked the little wave. "I'm water?" "Yes," said the medium wave "Now you're getting it. When you are able to realise that your fundamental or actual self, your very essence is water, you won't be so confused about being yourself, 'a wave' and you'll find that all your suffering will just melt away"

The little wave thought for a moment then started to chuckle "Oh yes of course, I see it now, I've really got it - I'm you and you are me. We're both of us just a part of the greater self!"

People selfishly think that they belong only to themselves. So, they compare themselves with other people, and then they think that they are suffering. In fact, though, every person is a part of nature.

Think about it ...

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