Sunday, September 25, 2011

What is True Prosperity?

There is an ancient Chinese Buddhist Zen story about prosperity.

It goes something like this:

There was a very wealthy land-owning family in a village and one day they decided to build a huge family home on their land. This house was to be an almost palace in its grandeur for the entire area. There was no expense too great for this home as they wanted it to be a symbol of their family and they wanted it to stand for many years.

Once this great home was nearing completion, the grandfather and the sons called a famous priest to write a scroll blessing the family, the home and their future prosperity.

The priest accepted the job and went back to the temple to meditate.

After a short time he returned to the house and opened the scroll and proudly held it up on the wall.

The scroll said,

"Grandfather dies,

father dies,

son dies,

grandson dies."

The family were furious. They were enraged and began insulting the priest, threatening him and demanding that he take the scroll back and change what was written on it.

The priest sighed and, as he was rolling up the scroll, he looked and said to them,

"I am sorry that you are unhappy with my work. How do you wish me to change the order on the scroll?..."

The family were dumbstruck. They didn't know what to say. They didn't know how the order could be changed.

The priest heaved a sigh once again and unrolled the scroll and hung it on the wall.

He said,

"'Grandfather dies,

father dies,

son dies,

grandson dies.'...

That is true prosperity.

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