Throughout history man has related to animals and has passed down many words of wisdom using animals as symbols to tell their story. Many times we are so busy with our own world we don’t have the time or the energy to simply help make a better world. The following Zen story demonstrates a classic act of decency which has rewards for all involved.
THE HOLY MAN AND THE ANIMALS
Far off in the Himalayan Mountains there lived a holy man who wanted desperately to have a deeper understanding of life and its meaning. One summer it got so hot that all the nearby streams dried up and the holy man was forced to dig his own well.
During the course of his difficult labor, the holy man noticed that many animals were also suffering from lack of water and slowly, many of them were beginning to die. Feeling sincere compassion and empathy for these creatures he decided to build them their own trough.
The holy man spent hours and hours in the sweltering heat working on this trough for the animals. First he had to cut down a large tree and then scrape out the wood to make a basin. As soon as this was finished he began bringing buckets of water from his well to fill the trough. This effort took all of his time.
Slowly, the animals in the area became aware of the water and word spread quickly through the region. Birds, rabbits, mice, deer and even a tiger all came to share from the same trough made by this very generous man. As the animals spent more and more time at the through, they noticed that the holy man was losing weight and beginning to look ill. They also noticed he was weakening and that in his generosity towards them had greatly neglected his own needs and had not properly stocked food for the fast approaching winter.
The animals spoke among themselves and decided to repay his kindness by foraging for him and collecting all kinds of things for him to eat. All together the animals presented their gift to the holy man, who was so touched by the animals’ compassion towards him that he continued to fill their trough until the drought finally came to an end.
Although the drought did come to an end and the streams did refill, the holy man and the animals continued to remain friends. Source—–littlelotushearts.com
QUOTE: Every day priests minutely examine the Dharma and endlessly chant complicated sutras. They should learn how to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.
– Ikkyu (1394-1491) —–dailyzen.com
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Is the Rhinoceros Really Ill Tempered? It is not its temper that makes a rhinoceros charge an intruder, but its poor eyesight. If it cannot recognize something, it will take no chances, but rush at it like a living tank, fast and furiously, ready to bite.
The “horn” at the end of the rhino’s long nose, which can vary from 1 to 3.5 feet long, is not a horn at all. It is actually solid, matted hair that keeps growing during the rhino’s lifetime. It is so strong that the rhino can uproot and overturn bushes and small trees with it, as well as defend itself with it. If the horn is broken or lost, another will grow.
A rhino eats grass and shrubs. It can strip leaves from trees. After drinking from a river, it likes to settle down in the mud and water. This is called wallowing. The mud dries on the rhino’s skin and protects it from the sun. This cooling system is necessary because the rhino has no sweat glands.
The largest of all rhinoceroses, the almost-extinct white rhinoceros, weighs 3.5 tons and has a horn over 5 feet long! ——bigsiteofamazingfacts.com
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Aquatic species, which are often overlooked, are facing serious trouble. One third of the United States’ fish species, two-thirds of its crayfish species, and almost three-quarters of its mussel species are in trouble.——endangeredspecie.com
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:We are all connected to the big earth. When are we going to take care of it? After it is destroyed! You can help by getting involved—not yesterday, but now!
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