False or Real?

 

 



A monk who served at a Zen center often thought, “Since every worldly phenomenon is like a dream or mirage, there is no difference whether I work diligently or not.”

One day, the Master came to the center. He saw an artificial flower which was covered with crystal-clear artificial water drops. Pointing to the flower, the Master asked this monk, “Are the water drops real or artificial?” The monk responded, “Artificial.”

A minute later, the Master asked again, “Are the water drops real or not?” Puzzled, the monk emphasized, “Shifu. They are ar-ti-ficial.” A little later, the Master asked again, “Are the water drops real or fake?” Astonished, the monk replied, “Shifu, the water drops are fake.” The Master smiled and said, “Just like the real thing.”

Afterwards, the monk pondered over this incident for a long time and suddenly came to a realization, “Although every worldly phenomenon is an illusion, to liberate sentient beings, a bodhisattva still carries out seemingly illusory activities with integrity.”

 

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