Brian Wilcox 'Buzzy Izzy ... (Impatiens walleriana Hook. f.)
A monk introduced himself to the Zen teacher Hsuan-sha (b. 835), saying, "I have just entered this monastery. Please show me where to enter the Way."
"Do you hear the sound of the valley stream?" answered Hsuan-sha.
The monk said, "Yes."
Yet keep humility.
Be the valley of the universe!
Being the valley of the universe,
Ever true and resourceful,
Return to the state of the uncarved block.
*Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Trans. Gia-Fu Feng, Jane English.
* * *
A Sufi tale -
A conqueror said to the wise fool Mulla Nasruddin, "Sir, all the great rulers of the past had honorific titles with the name of God: God-Gifted, God-Accepted, and so on. How about such a name for me?" Nasruddin said, "God Forbid!"
* * *
Humble, from humilis, "on the ground," from humus, "earth": i.e. "dirt, soil."
* * *
A Christian story - Gospel of Luke 14.1, 7-11 -
One Sabbath day, he [Jesus] entered the house of one of the leading Pharisees for a meal, and they were all watching him closely.
Then, he gave a word of advice to the guests, when he noticed they were choosing the seats of honor.
"When you're invited to a wedding feast, don't sit down in one of the best seats. It might happen that a more distinguished guest than you has been invited. Then, your host might say, 'I'm afraid you must give up your seat for this fellow.' And, then, with shame, you will have to sit in a lowly seat. Rather, when you are invited, sit in a lowly seat, so that when your host arrives, he may say to you, 'Come, my friend, we have a much better seat for you.' That is the way to be honored in the eyes of your fellow-guests. For everyone who exalts himself or herself will be lowered, while the one who humbles himself or herself will be lifted up."
* * *
A Jewish story -
Rabbi Elimelech (b. 1717), a Hassidic sage, was traveling home. He had visited a city. Many Hasidim followed him, walking behind his carriage. When departing the city gate, the Rabbi got out, told his coachman to drive on, and walked among them. The Hasidim, astonished, asked for an explanation. "When," replied the Rabbi, "I saw the great devotion with which you were performing the good work of following me, I could not bear to be excluded from it!"
* * *
We are each a ray of the Light. We, as parts of the Whole, do not own for ourselves what belongs to the Whole. As Jesus spoke, if we lift ourselves up in pride, we will be brought low, while if we humble ourselves, we will be lifted up. This, not for Life is for or against us, and not as punishment either, but for this is how Life is. Life Itself does not lift us up or put us down; we do, through how we respond to Life.