the fifth noble truth
Location: the Ganden Monestary, Dagzê County in Tibet.
A Lama (spiritual master) sits crossed legged in front of a man who appears to be a Westerner.
The Lama says the following; “If you wish to dream about being a bookmark it is best to sleep between 19 blankets and 3 mattresses.”
The Westerner absorbs the statement.
“Do you understand?” asks the Lama.
“Yes” he replies.
The Lama lifts his eyebrows and tilts his head as if encouraging the man to explain.
“You are saying that all advice is just finding a way to make the recipient think about what is otherwise obvious to them.”
The Lama nodded. After a few minutes the Lama continued. “You have traveled many miles and endured both physical and financial hardships to receive this wisdom. How does this make you feel?”
The Westerner thought it over. Finally he said “When I was a child we had a tradition of painting eggs during our Easter celebration. My mother would give me a dozen hard boiled eggs and I would spend many hours decorating them. Some of them didn‘t turn out well and others I was quite proud of. In the six days after Easter I would start each morning by eating two of them. The first day I would select the two that I felt were the ugliest. Every morning after that I would look over the remaining eggs and eat the two that were the least attractive until, on the sixth day, the last two eggs were the ones that I felt reflected my best efforts.”
“I see” replied the Lama, lifting his eyebrows and tilting his head as if encouraging the man to explain.
“I’m saying that in the end it doesn’t matter.”