Time to Learn

A young Buddhist monk approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master: ‘If I meditate very diligently how long will it take for me to become enlightened?’

The Master thought about this, then replied: ‘Ten years.’

The student then said: ‘But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast, how long then?’

Replied the Master: ‘Well, twenty years.’

‘But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?’ asked the student.

‘Thirty years,’ replied the Master.

‘But I don’t understand,’ said the disappointed student. ‘Each time I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?’

The Master replied: ‘When you have one eye on the goal, you can only have one eye on the path.’

The Very Delicious Strawberry

[From: The Very Delicious Strawberry, Twenty illustrated Zen stories adapted for children, by Tim Johnson and Andrea Brajnovic.]

Categories: Beginners, Book reviews, Chan / Seon / Zen, Foundations of Buddhism

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. Under San Francisco’s 1967 summer sun, I first read the very delious strawberry. As was the custom, I sewed a strawberry on my jeans as a reminder. As the denim wore away, I kept the strawberry’s story with me.

  2. A very good way of telling to keep both eyes on the path.

  3. Very timely (no pun intended) advice–thank you so much for this bit of wisdom,


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