Shifu Wang Bo: The Meaning of Life… surrendering to the taste of honey


Excellence Reporter: Shifu Wang, what is the meaning of life?

Shifu Wang Bo: A believer asked me this question: “What is the meaning of life?”

I meditated for a moment and replied: “Enjoy every moment you have.” Seeing the confused expression of the believer, I said: “Let me tell you a story.

A man was walking in the forest when a group of hungry wolves appeared and gave chase. He ran for his life, and just as the wolves were upon him, he saw a well in the ground ahead. In desperation, he leaped into the well.

However, he immediately discovered that the well was not filled with water, but with poisonous snakes. When the snakes saw him falling toward them, they all hissed in excitement, expecting a tasty meal. The man threw his hands out, trying to reach for anything that could stop his fall. By chance, he grasped onto a small tree growing out of the wall.

With hungry wolves overhead and poisonous snakes underneath him, the man held tight to the tree and was relieved to be safe. But then a strange noise came to his ear. Looking around, he saw that a group of rats were gnawing at the roots of the very tree that he was clinging to.

In that moment between life and possible death, the man saw a drop of honey on the branch before him. And he forgot about the wolves above, the snakes below, and about the little tree that would not hold him for long. He closed his eyes, reached out his tongue, and surrendered himself to the taste of the honey.

This… this is what I mean by enjoying every moment we have. In life, we will encounter many difficulties. Some difficulties belong to the past. Some difficulties belong to the future. Our current task is to solve every problem that can be solved in the moment and take every opportunity we can take in the moment.


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~Shifu Wang Bo is a 34th generation Shaolin warrior and Zen Buddhist disciple.

Copyright © 2019 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Dao/Tao, Zen

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