The graduate met a Zen master on the way hone and described to him what had happened.
The Zen master clapped his hands and laughed: “Congratulations, you will be top of the list!”
The graduate said: “You really are a joker. I’m miserable, yet you make a joke of me.”
The Zen master replied: “As I see it, it’s completely the other way round. If you think about it, planting cabbages on the top of the wall means that you are planting higher than others and will get a higher result!
Both umbrella and raincoat mean that your preparations have been adequate, a double insurance.
As for sleeping in the bridal chamber with the girl you love, although back-toback, you just have to turn round for a successful conclusion. This demonstrates that your success will be doubled, your dreams will come true and that the time to turn round is about to arrive!”
The graduate was delighted, cast off his mental burden and as the Zen master said he would, at one stroke achieved the highest place in the exams.
The cause of the way in which the graduate completely turned his life around was an attitude of Zen joy formed by a strong internal stimulus.
Had he been influenced by the first interpretation, his attitude would have been one
of “I’ll never pass, I’m bound to fail.”
He would have been unable to answer the simplest question because he had already caused himself to fail before he entered the examination hall.
Conversely, encouraged by the second interpretation and taking the exam in a spirit of “I’m going to succeed and come top” he was able to realise his maximum potential and achieve a result beyond the normal standard.
He had already psychologically come top before the exam.
摘自: 吴言生著《CHINESE ZEN A PATH TO PEACE AND HAPPINESS》，
TONY BLISHEN 译，Better Link 出版社，纽约 )