8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god


^ 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar
One day Abraham invited a beggar to his tent for a meal. When grace was being said, the man began to curse God, declaring that he could not bear 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god to hear his name. Seized with indignation, Abraham drove the blasphemer away.

When he was at his prayers that night, God said to him, "This man has cursed and reviled me 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god for fifty years and yet I have given him food to eat every day. Could you not put up with him for a single meal?"69
^ 8.10Planting Mangoes
It was time 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god for the rainy season to begin and a very old man was digging holes in his garden. "What are you doing?" asked his neighbour. "Planting mango trees" was the reply. "Do you 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god expect to eat mangoes from those trees?" "No, I won't live long enough for that. But others will. It occurred to me the other day that all my life I have enjoyed mangoes planted 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god by other people. This is my way of showing gratitude."70
^ 8.11Charity and the Scriptures
Tetsugen, a student of Zen in Japan, resolved on a mighty undertaking: the printing of seven thousand 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god copies of the Sutras, the great religious writings, which till then were available only in Chinese. He travelled the length and breadth of Japan to collect funds for this project. Some wealthy people 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god offered his as much as a hundred pieces of gold, but mostly he received small coins from peasants. Tetsugen expressed equal gratitude to each donor, regardless of the sum 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god of money given. After ten long years of travel, he finally collected the funds necessary for the task. Just then the river Uji overflowed and thousands were left without food and shelter 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god. Tetsugen spent all the money he had collected for his cherished project on these poor people.

Then he began the work of raising funds again. Again it was several years before he got all 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god the money he needed. Then an epidemic spread all over the country, so Tetsugen gave away all he had collected to help the suffering. Once again he set out on his 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god travels and, twenty years later, his dream of having the scriptures in the Japanese language finally came true.

The printing block that produced this first edition of the Sutras is on display 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god at the Obaku Monastery in Kyoto. The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen got out three editions of the Sutras in all; and that the first two are invisible and far superior to 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god the third.71
^ 8.12True fraternal love: the brothers who cared for one another
Two brothers, one a bachelor and the other married, owned a farm whose fertile soil yielded an abundance 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god of grain. Half the grain went to one brother and half to the other. All went well at first. Then, every now and then the married man began to wake from his sleep 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god at night and think, "This isn't fair. My brother isn't married, he's all alone, and he gets only half the produce of the farm. Here I am with 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god a wife and five kids, so I have all the security I need for my old age. But who will care for my poor brother when he gets old? He needs to save 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god much more for the future than he does at present, so his need is obviously greater than mine". With that he would get out of bed, steal over to his brother's place 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god and pour a sackful of grain into his brother's granary.

The bachelor brother too began to get the same attacks. Every once in a while he would wake from 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god sleep and say to himself: "This simply isn't fair. My brother has a wife and five kids and he gets only half the produce of the land. Now I have no 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god one except myself to support. So is it just that my poor brother, whose need is obviously greater than mine, should receive exactly as much as I do?" Then he would get out 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god of bed and pour a sackful of grain into his brother's granary.

One night they got out of bed at the same time and ran into each others, each with 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god a sack of grain on his back! Many years later the story leaked out. So when the townsfolk wanted to build a church, they chose the spot where the two brothers met, for they 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god could not think of any place in town that was holier than that one.72
^ 8.13The Rainbow people
In a beautiful meadow at the bottom of a great mountain lived a people 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god called the "Greens". They wore green clothes, lived in green homes, drove green cars and believed that God was green.

At the top of the great mountain were another people, the "Blues". They wore 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god blue clothes, lived in blue homes, drove blue cars and believed that God was blue.

Greens and Blues didn't talk to each other. In fact they hated each 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god other. Green parents would teach their children to say:

"Green is happy; Blue is sad.

Greens are good; Blues are bad."

Blue parents would teach their children to say:

"Blue is happy; Green is sad 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god.

Blues are good; Greens are bad".

Blues and Greens grew up seeing each other as "sad" and as "bad". But they didn't really know each other. Some Blues 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god went a whole lifetime without ever talking to a Green. They didn't know each other because they stayed in their own territories. They didn't go to the same churches or schools.

It happened 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god one day that a Green was walking with his father when he saw a Blue boy flying a kite in their meadow. When the Blue boy saw them he became frightened. He 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god ran back towards his mountain. But in doing so he sprained his ankle and couldn't walk very well. The Green boy wanted to help him, but his father said 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god, "No!"

"Don't you remember what your mother and I taught you? Green is happy; Blue is sad. Greens are good and Blues are bad."

The Green boy still asked his 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god dad if he could help the Blue. "Dad, how do we know that this Blue is bad? All I know is that he has sprained his ankle and he needs someone to help him 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god walk home." When the Green boy said this, his father turned to him saying, "Blue is the colour of the devil. God only loves Green. Our religion teaches us to help our own 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god kind. I want you to do as you are told."

A few weeks later the Green boy was out playing with his pet rabbit. He chased it through the 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god tall grass and into the open fields. He played for so long that without realising it, he had crossed into Blue land. He was about to catch the rabbit when it jumped down a small 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god cliff. Green went after him and in so doing caught his leg between two big rocks. He pushed and pulled, but he could not move. He called for help, hoping a 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god Green would hear him. He worried that sooner or later a Blue would come by. This thought frightened him because he had never met a Blue.

As the sunlight faded, someone 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god approached the trapped Green boy. It was a Blue. It was the same boy who had sprained his ankle, and the boy who had been flying his kite in Green land. The Green boy 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god closed his eyes waiting to be hurt by his enemy.

The Blue boy stood by the Green boy for a few moments. Then he went to a tree and broke off 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god a big branch. The Green boy said, "Don't hit me with that branch," thinking that that was what he was going to do.

Blue answered him. "I'm not 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god going to hit you. The branch is to pry loose the rocks that are holding your leg."

Blue prised loose the rocks. He tore his blue shirt into long strips and tied 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god the branch to Green's leg. Then he helped Green walk home.

When Green's father saw his son's leg tied with the blue cloth, he cursed the boy. "I don't care if 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god you were injured," he screamed. "You should not have let a Blue touch you."

Though Green knew his father was upset with him, he could not forget the Blue 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god who had helped him. When his leg was healed, he went into Blue land to find his helper.

For a whole day Green walked in the neighbourhoods of Blue land. It took a 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god lot of courage to do this because everywhere he went people slammed doors on him and called him names. Some children threw stones at him. Finally he found the boy who had helped 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god him. He did not slam the door on Green. He welcomed him in his home. Green was happy to see Blue, but he was surprised to see his helper had clothes that combined 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god the colours of blue and green.

"I thought you learned that green was bad. Why are you wearing green and blue?" asked Green.

"Do you remember when I helped you when you 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god were hurt? I tore up my blue shirt to make a splint for your leg. I figured that you became part of me and I became part of you 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god. In helping you and in talking with you, I came to see that green is as good as blue." "Won't the other Blues throw stones at you when they find out that you like 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god Greens?" asked Green.

"I don't care what they think," said Blue. "It is right to help people whether they are blue or green."

The two boys became close friends 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god. They often visited each other. They мейд up a new song which they taught to their friends. It went like this:

"Green is good, but so is Blue,

Purple Yellow and 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god Red too.

All the children should be glad;

there is no colour that is bad."

Little by little more Blues and Greens started to visit each other. Then they began going to each 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god other's schools and churches. They even went beyond their own lands and visited the Yellows, Reds and Purples. After a while most people didn't call themselves "Greens" or "Blues" any more but 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god simply "Rainbow people". And to this day their children sing,

"Green is good, but so is Blue,

Purple, Yellow and Red too.

All the children should be glad;

there 8.9Putting up with the difficult beggar - 1opening our eyes to see the presence of god is no colour that is bad."73
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