The Southern Mountain

Sekiso lived and taught on the Southern Mountain, and Kankei lived and taught on the Northern Mountain. One day, a monk came from the Northern Monastery to the Southern Monastery in search of teaching. Sekiso said to him, "My Southern Monastery is no better than the Monastery in the North." The monk did not know what reply to make. When he returned to Kankei and told him the story, Kankei said, "You should have told him that I am ready to enter Nirvana any day."

As the saying goes, the neighbour's grass is always greener. So one who lives in the world of comparison will always seek a greener pasture, as did this monk. Sekiso pointed this out to the monk by assuring him that the monastery he had just left was every bit as good a place to learn. Unnerved by this noncompetitive attitude, the monk didn't know how to reply. But his former teacher responded to the compliment by saying, "I am ready to die any day." Both teachers were trying hard to show the monk that truth is nowhere if not within. 


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