Rumi’s Teacher

The great Persian poet Rumi had an extraordinary teacher named Shams.

Even as a child Shams seemed different. His own parents struggled with whether to send him to a monastery of the village of fools. They did not know what to do with him.

When he had grown he told them the story of the duck’s egg that was found by the hen and hatched. The hen raised the duckling with her other chicks. One day they walked to a lake. The duck went right in the water, Shams said to his parents, “Now, father and mother, I have found my place. I have learned to swim in the ocean, even if you must remain on the shore.”

– unknown origin, told by Jack Kornfield, Vipassana Teacher, Theravada. 

A piece of truth

One day Mara, the Buddhist god of ignorance and evil, was traveling through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.

Mara’s attendants asked what that was and Mara replied, “A piece of truth.”

“Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of the truth, O evil one?” his attendants asked.

“No,” Mara replied. “Right after this they usually make a belief out of it.”

– From 108 Treasures for the Heart, by Benny Liow.