Awakening

How Long Should One Meditate?

There was once a Zen Buddhist monk sitting on the side of the road meditating. He apparently had been meditating for years and years, because his hair had grown down to the ground, and birds had made a nest in his hair.

One day, intuitively he felt somebody walking by, a self-realized being, so he opened one eye to look. And he saw this old wise man walking by.

He said, “Holy Father, where are you going?”

And the old man said, “I’m going to see God.”

The Buddhist monk said, “Please, intervene for me and ask God how much longer I’ve got to sit this way, meditating, before I become liberated?”

So the old man said, “I will my son.” The old man continued walking.

A mile down the path there was another Zen Buddhist monk, same story. He had apparently been sitting here for many years, because his hair had grown down to the ground, and birds had made nests in his hair also. And he, too, felt somebody coming and knew it was a realized being.

He opened his eyes and said, “Where are you going, Father?”

And the old man said, “I’m going to see God.”

So this monk asked the same question. “Would you please ask God for me how much longer I have to sit like this and meditate before I become liberated?”

And the old man said, “I will my son,” and he continued walking.

Six months passed. The old wise man was walking down the road again. The first Zen Buddhist monk intuitively felt him coming, and he opened his eyes and said, “Father, have you seen God?”

The wise man said, “Yes.”

And did you ask him for me how much longer I have to sit like this and meditate before l become free?”

The old man said, “Yes I did my son.” The old man pointed to a tree, and he said,

“Do you see all the leaves on the tree? God told me you have to incarnate as many times as there are leaves on this tree before you can become free.”

And the monk got furious and said, “What? After all the years I’ve spent meditating? What nonsense! This is all a waste of time! I’m through with this!” And he got up and headed toward town to get drunk.

Later the old man passed the second monk, who also felt him coming, and opened his eyes and said, “Father, did you intervene for me? Did you ask God how much longer I have to sit like this before I become free?”

The old man said, “Yes my son, I did.” The old man pointed to a tree and said,

“God told me that you have to reincarnate as many times as there are leaves on that tree.”

And the monk became happy, and sang for joy, and he said, “Thank you, thank you! It could have been two trees, or three trees, or five trees, the whole forest! But it’s only one! Thank God!”

And he walked away happy.

Courtesy of R.Adams

©Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Awakening

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