The Broken Tray

There was once a small hut called "rich field" where a monk lived for thirty years. He had for his use only one tray, made of clay. One day a student who studied under him accidentally broke that tray. Each day the teacher asked the student to replace it. But each time the disciple brought a new tray the teacher threw it out, saying, "This is not it. Give me back my old one."

What does the tray represent? Perhaps the monk himself, his pure mind. The disciple brought a new tray many times, but every time the teacher threw it away. The teacher didn't want the tray; he wanted the student to bring back his original pure mind. The student attached to the tray itself, but the old monk inter-uses the tray and the true self freely. There is no tray, as such.


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