15 January, 2014

How Does It Taste?

One of my daughters sent me this recently, and I liked enough to want to share it with my friends. It's better than my usual crackerjack musing. She received it from Rev. Josh Whistler, a Chaplain at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver. I'm uncertain where he first read it.

An aging Zen master grew tired of his student complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

"How does it taste?" the master asked.

"Bitter," spit the apprentice.

The master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake nearby. Once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the master asked, "How does it taste?"

"Fresh," remarked the apprentice.

"Do you taste the salt?" asked the master.

"No," said the young man.

At this, the master took the young man's hands, offering, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.

May your day be fresh.