Sri Vishnu

The Boat Painter

A man was asked to paint a boat.

He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him.

While painting, he noticed that there was a small hole in the hull, and quietly repaired it.

When finished painting, he received his money and left.

The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque, much higher than the payment for painting.

The painter was surprised and said "You've already paid me for painting the boat Sir!"

"But this is not for the paint job. It's for having repaired the hole in the boat."

"Ah! But it was such a small service... certainly it's not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant."

"My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened.

When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole.

When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip.

They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time.

When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole.

Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing.

Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your 'small' good deed."

So, no matter who, when or how. Just continue to help, sustain, wipe tears, listen attentively and carefully repair all the 'leaks' you find, because you never know when one is in need of us or when God holds a pleasant surprise for us to be helpful and important to someone.

You may have repaired numerous 'boat holes' along the way... of several people without realizing how many lives you've saved.

Bokuju's Awareness

Master Bokuju

Bokuju was a Zen master. He used to live alone in a cave, but during the day, or even in the night, he would sometimes say loudly, “Bokuju” – his own name, and then he would say, “Yes, I am here.” And no one else was there.

Then his disciples used to ask him, “Why are you calling ‘Bokuju’, your own name, and then saying, ‘Yes sir, I am here’?” He said, “Whenever I get into thinking, I have to remember to be alert, and so I call my own name, ‘Bokuju.’ The moment I call ‘Bokuju’ and I say, ‘Yes sir, I am here,’ the thinking, the anxiety disappears.”

Then, in his last days, for two or three years, he never called “Bokuju,” his name, and never had to reply, “Yes sir, I am here.”

The disciples asked, “Master, now you never do this.”

So he said, “But now Bokuju is always there. He is always there, and there is no need. Before I used to miss him. Sometimes the anxiety would take me, cloud me all over, and Bokuju was not there. So I had to remember ‘Bokuju,’ and the anxiety would disappear....”

Try your name. When you feel deep anxiety, just call your name – not “Bokuju” or any name, but your name – and then reply to it, “Yes sir, I am here,” and feel the difference. Anxiety will not be there. At least for a single moment you will have a glimpse beyond the clouds, and that glimpse can be deepened. Once you know that if you become alert anxiety is not there, it disappears; you have come to a deep knowing of your own self and the mechanism of inner working.

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