Skip to main content


Once upon a time, there was a young man from a respectable family who went to the sea with some merchants to look for pearls. He had read all about sailing such as to know how to steer the boat, how to take the right direction and how to hold in good position when they had to face whirlpools, counter-currents, or rocks during the journey.

To everybody aboard, he said, "I know all about sailing."

Everyone believed him. It was not long before the captain of the boat fell ill and died soon after. He then took charge of the boat. When they came to whirlpools and rapid currents, he recited what he had read without knowing how to put those instructions into practice. The boat that was strolling and going round could not advance to the pearls place. Then they all drowned.

So are the common people. They have little knowledge of quiet sitting, of counting the breathings and of contemplating on the uncleanness of human body for the practice of meditation. Although they can read the scriptures, they do not grasp the meaning. In fact, they know really nothing about all the methods of meditation. They preach the wrong ways, pretending to be well acquainted with the right ways. Bewildered and diffident, the followers turn the characteristics of things upside down, getting nothing in return over the whole year or a number of years. They are just like those who drowned at sea by the stupid man in this story.




Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a de

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was