Everything Comes to Pass
7 Aug 2008
A short story narrated by my mom in 2007 to make me feel better:
Once, there was a powerful king with a vast kingdom -- a sage asked him to tie a piece of paper to his arm -- to be opened only when there is absolutely no hope left. The king agreed. Under his reign, the kingdom flourished.. but then came a day when the king was betrayed by his own family members. He lost his kingdom and found himself wandering around alone in a forest. He stopped for a moment to collect himself, tired and thirsty. He saw no hope in anything. Crestfallen, he suddenly remembered the paper the sage had given him. He took it off his arm and opened it: "Everything comes to pass", it said. The sage's words endowed the king with great peace of mind and immense strength. He relaxed for a while. Then he started looking around for food and water. He slowly gained strength and eventually reclaimed his kingdom!

Several years later, I came across this Zen koan:

A student went to see his meditation teacher and said, “My situation is horrible! I feel so distracted most of the time, or my legs ache, or I’m repeatedly falling asleep. It’s terrible.” Said the teacher matter-of-factly, “It will pass.”

A week later, the student returned to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive!” The teacher told him, “It will pass.”

© Copyright 2008—2018, Gurmeet Manku.