Author Topic: Surprise!  (Read 13322 times)

negra orquida

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Surprise!
« on: March 30, 2012, 05:33:58 PM »
Here's a rather cute story to share.. I can't figure out what is the moral of it though!

The students in a monastery were in total awe of an elder monk, not because he was strict, but because nothing ever seemed to upset or ruffle him. So they found him a bit unearthly and even frightening.

One day they decided to put him to a test. A bunch of them very quietly hid in a dark corner of one of the hallways, and waited for the monk to walk by. Within moments, the old man appeared, carrying a cup of hot tea. Just as he passed by, the students all rushed out at him screaming as loud as they could.

But the monk showed no reaction whatsoever. He peacefully made his way to a small table at the end of the hall, gently placed the cup down, and then, leaning against the wall, cried out with shock, "Ohhhhh!"

Klein

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 09:43:10 AM »
I think the moral of the story is that the old monk has gained a level of attainment that he is not attached to any external situations and therefore doesn't react much. He doesn't even jump or make a noise when the students try to surprise him.

I remember my teacher telling me that how big a person's reaction is to a surprise is how big his or her ego is.

The old monk's delayed response to the surprise indicates that he is in full control of his mind.

jessicajameson

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 10:13:02 AM »
I'm unsure of the moral of the story (and don't actually think that there's a moral to this story), but the monk is either: completely unaffected by his surroundings, completely aware of his surroundings or have the power of clairvoyance.


pgdharma

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 10:28:28 AM »
I think this old monk is a highly attained monk. His mind is stable, calm and not easily affected by unexpected situations. He did not react by screaming or scolding his students for this prank. He did not spilled the cup of hot tea and his only reaction was "ohhh" after placing the cup down on the table.  He remained calm and in full control of his mind which showed that he is able to have full control of the situation.

Tenzin K

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2012, 01:32:40 PM »
The elder monk definitely has attained some sort of realization and fully control of his mind. He has no reaction toward unexpected surprise and not even spill the hot tea. His control of the mind is amazing and fully aware of the surrounding.

For most of the people, they would have scream, huge reaction and even spill of the hot tea. But the elder monk can really control his taught and action simultaneously. When you put down your ego and self-cherishing mind i believe nothing will bother us.

Manjushri

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 02:05:15 PM »
I think this story highlights how aware and mindful this monk is, as he remains in full control of the situation he is in. If someone is really aware, he will be able to control himself regardless of the situation and he is more likely to be able to foretell what will happen due to his awareness of the surrounding. Also, he could, as others has said, be highly attained and coupled with great mindfulness and awareness, can foretell what will occcur.

What i don't understand is why he "cried out with shock" at the end though... perhaps to teach the students something.

vajraD

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 03:06:38 PM »
I think the monk have a certain control over his mind. If I was him I would have spilled the cup of hot tea, be in shock and raised my madness at those young monks. But he seems to have full control over his emotions during that very moment. He cried out with a shock later maybe because he wants some relief of the shock.

vajratruth

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 03:40:05 PM »
This is a good story that is also thought provoking. At the same time it is open to so many interpretations.

I agree that the old monk is probably in control of his mind and may even have the power of clairvoyance, and hence he did not react to the scare and spill the tea. But why the delayed reaction as if he was?

Shock just like anger, sadness and joy are emotions that arise out of our self cherishing. We are affected by afflictive emotions and we react to it. In fact, very often we allow afflictive feelings to govern us. We "spill our tea" because something bad happened to us; we "spill our tea" but it is not our fault. This is how we justify our reactions.

My guess is that the old monk's message is that it is ok to express and react to afflictive emotions and sensations but if we are in control of our minds, then those emotions need not make us "spill our tea". At the same time he is showing that it is unnecessary to deny those emotions and pretend that we are not hurt or angered. Just that those feelings need not define our actions.

jeremyg

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 06:12:23 PM »
In addition to what everyone what has said here, which is that he is trying to show that he has no feeling towards the scare act, and that he is attained to a level, where it doesn't affect him. I feel that they scream in the aftermath is to show that being scared, or being shocked is all in the mind. And that we can control it, it is just up to the mind. Furthermore, by being scared after the actual event, the monk/old man shows that it is not the actual event that should scare you, but the result and the repercussions of something.

triesa

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 11:09:26 AM »
In addition to what everyone what has said here, which is that he is trying to show that he has no feeling towards the scare act, and that he is attained to a level, where it doesn't affect him. I feel that they scream in the aftermath is to show that being scared, or being shocked is all in the mind. And that we can control it, it is just up to the mind. Furthermore, by being scared after the actual event, the monk/old man shows that it is not the actual event that should scare you, but the result and the repercussions of something.

Jeremyg, I agree with you.  Everything can be controlled by the mind, just need much practice and time to perfect it.

 My reflection on the story of this monk is on something that always happen to most of us. It is anger management. When we come to a situation that arouse much anger in us, if we can control our mind and without letting our bubbling steamy air out in the form of harsh speech and negative actions, but just go and scream somehwere instead of to the person, like this monk, just hide behind somewhere and let his fear out, a lot of unnecessary consequences could be avoided.

May we always remember this funny story.....to our benefits......

 

Aurore

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 04:30:28 PM »
I think the delayed reaction was because this monk just realised what just happened. I think his being very oblivious to his surroundings is because he understood life is a mere drama. With this realisation, everything is perceived to be impermanent hence nothing can anger or affect him.

I don't quite understand why the students should find him frightening and scary. Maybe because he doesn't show any emotions and appeared to be cold? Or perhaps, it's because it's beyond these student's perception and expectations to not react.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 07:16:54 AM »
Story is about the monk's mastery of his mind. Many people  think that an enlightened being or realized person have no emotions , immune to pain  etc. Actually they are in human form and hence will have full sense faculties like any ordinary human. This is how they can relate to other people's problems to help them.The special thing about them is that they can control their emotions and hence reactions to any situations. The ooh part shows he is human but the delayed part shows his control. This kind of control is very useful . Eg usually when somebody scolds us we immediately lose control and scold back,or react in a harmful way but if we are like the monk and can hold back the anger , chances are we will be able to stop ourselves from reacting harmfully to others.There is  space created to allow other options to handle a volatile situation.

ratanasutra

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 02:02:13 PM »
i think the senior monk has attain some kind of controling his mind, therefore he is aware of what's happening surround him and did not react when something unexpect happened.

Most of time, when are we doing something but our mind thinking about other things ie we are washing dishes but our minds are thinking about the movie we just watched or what we going to do on weekend. our mind are not with us at the moment and do not aware of what we are doing so when there is some sound unexpect happen we jump and scream!!

 

Jessie Fong

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2012, 11:50:48 AM »
I tend to think that the Senior Monk had achieved a certain level of attainment such that he does not get easily distracted. So he is aware at the moment of what is happening around him and nothing can disturb him the way it disturbs the unattained.

Or maybe he was so engrossed with his hot cup of tea, not wanting to spill it on the floor, or even spilling onto his cheeky students less they become scalded!


N. Orquida : you stated that " ... because nothing ever seemed to upset or ruffle him ... " so why should this incident even cause a stir?

Big Uncle

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Re: Surprise!
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 06:18:04 PM »
On the flip side, people who are easily scared or excited shows how strong our ego and self-cherishing mind is. If we are easily scared or excited by the smallest and most trivial matters, that means that we will suffer even more. When we are scared and excited by the most trivial things like a new dress, a compliment, a delicious meal or something as simple as that, it means when we don't have those pleasures or when things goes bad, we will suffer very much. That's how our mind works.

However, instead of working towards eradicating those emotions, we should redirect it towards the Dharma. That is easier method and Dorje Shugden practice is an excellent method to achieve that aim. Most people who start the practice would be praying for simpler things. Dorje Shugden has a way of bringing it to them and somehow infusing Dharma in the way he grants practitioners wishes because he is Manjushri. Another way to redirect the mind to Dharma is to read and listen to a lot of Dharma teachings while making a lot of elaborate offerings to the Buddhas to generate the necessary merit.