An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter” spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things …. stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Source | A Hindu parable as told by
Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening
(Conari Press, 2011) pages 17-18


“The more spacious and larger our fundamental nature, the more bearable the pains in living.” | Wayne Muller



Once upon a time there was a gentleman who led a very programmed life. He planned for every eventuality with utter care. He made sure  to always have a  plan B, just in case.

Every night before going to bed he placed on his night stand two glasses: one with water and one empty. When his visiting friend asked him “why?” he said:

“The one with water is there in case I wake up at night and I feel thirsty”.

Still not getting the point, the curious friend asked: “How about the other one?”

“Oh! This is in case I wake up at night and I am not thirsty!”  the gentleman replied.

Source : Unknown


Is your life so meticulously planned and programmed that it borders on the absurd?