Meditation & Health #21- Find the Best Way
Find the Best Way
A young monk and his master embarked on a long walk to appreciate the beauty of Nature. After walking for a distance, they were tired. They found a tall tree and decided to take a rest in its shade.
His master was thirsty and so the disciple walked to a slow-flowing stream to get some water. While scooping up water, he saw a scorpion near the riverbank struggling in the current, trying to stay afloat.
Without a second thought, the young monk stretched out his hand to rescue it. The scorpion responded by stinging his fingers. Shocked by the pain, he let it go and it fell back into the water. Realizing the scorpion was drowning, the monk bore the pain and used his other hand for the rescue, only to be stung again.
His master had walked over and was watching the monk’s efforts. Without a word, the master used his fan to gently scoop up the scorpion. Watching the scorpion crawl away, the master turned to the disciple and asked, “You were stung on your first attempt, so why did you use the same method again when you knew you would be stung?” The monk answered, “Master, you’ve always reminded me to help all sentient beings. I acted according to your teachings.”
His master patiently explained, “When we are helping others, we must employ skillful means to suit the circumstances. There is more than one solution to a problem. It is imperative that we are adaptable and able to consider various options. Find the best way to execute on our duty to help.”
The scorpion’s natural instinct is to sting, but our original true nature is compassion. We should not compromise our Buddha-nature of infinite love simply because we fear a sting. Sometimes, the person we helped may turn around and harm us. We need to take precautions, but that should not prevent us from helping. Instead, we should always think of the best way to assist those in need.