Friday, October 5, 2012

a story - filling the bottle of oil.

this story was told during my vipassana course. but i believe that for all of us, students of meditation or not, the lesson applies.

let's all follow lives of optimism, realism and workism. 


a mother sent her son with an empty bottle and a ten-rupee note to buy some oil from the nearby grocer's shop. the boy went and had the bottle filled, but as he was returning he fell down and dropped it. before he could pick it up, half of the oil spilled out. finding the bottle half empty, he came back to his mother crying, "oh, i lost half the oil! i lost half the oil!". he was very unhappy.

the mother sent another son with another botle and another ten-rupee note. he also had the bottle filled, and while returning fell down and dropped it. again, half the oil spilled out. picking up the bottle, he came back to his mother very happy: "oh look, i saved half the oil!". both came to the mother in the same position, with a bottle that was half empty, half full. one was crying for the empty one, one was happy with the filled part.

then the mother sent another son with another bottle and a ten-rupee note. he also fell down while returning and dropped the bottle. half of the oil spilled out. he picked up the bottle and, like the second boy, came to his mother very happy: "mother, i saved half the oil!". but this boy was a vipassana boy, full not only of optimism, but also of realism. he understood, "well, half of the oil was saved, but half was also lost". and so he said to his mother, "now i shall go to the market, work hard for the whole day, earn five rupees, and get this bottle filled. by evening, i will have it filled". this is vipassana. no pessimism; instead, optimism, realism and "workism"!

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