Wisdom Story – 245


Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking.

Tetsugen began by travelling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task.

It happened that at that time the Uji River overflowed. Famine followed. Tetsugen took the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save others from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting.

Several years afterward an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected.

For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was fulfilled. The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in Obaku monastery in Kyoto.

The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last.



Time Lapse of Chicago

Regular readers know that I have a penchant for time lapse videos and that I love my adopted hometown of Chicago. Combine the two and it’s almost magical. [I find the music annoying, however!]

On Success


What is success?

Some people measure it by wealth and/or fame, esteem, prestige, happiness, attractiveness… among many possible metrics.

Far too often, I allow myself to be seduced by illusions of success when, in my heart of hearts, I know that the only real success is when — by the Grace of God, and only by the Grace of God — my heart grows a smidge more loving and more compassionate.

I want to be successful!


On Forgiveness



The philosopher and poet, David Whyte, writes strikingly about forgiveness in Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words:

Forgiveness is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.

As someone who needs to forgive and to be forgiven on a regular basis, I embrace his words.  And I believe that when we do manage to forgive someone, it is one of the most God-like things of which we are capable.

I pray to become a more forgiving person.