There’s no point being half-hearted about Life. You can’t afford to be tentative. Because Life’s passing you by – every moment. You miss it and it is gone! So, take the plunge, live Life fully, intensely, totally!
There’s an ancient Zen story. It must be true. For Lao Tzu (601~531 BC), Buddha (563~483 BC) and Confucius (551~479 BC) lived around the same time. It is said that the three of them met in paradise, in a café. The waiter came by with three glasses of a drink called “Life”.
Buddha refuses the drink saying: “Life is misery!”
Confucius has a more moderate view to Life. He insists that he cannot decide how “Life” is until he takes a sip of it. Confucius had a scientific bent of mind, he theorized logically. His point was that you must experience everything and then decide for yourself. So, he takes a sip of the drink from the glass and concludes: “Buddha is right. Life is misery!”
It is Lao Tzu’s turn now. He looks at all three glasses. He takes each of them, one after the other, empties all the three glasses and starts dancing.
Buddha and Confucius look at Lao Tzu. “Are you not going to say anything about Life?”, they ask him.
Lao Tzu replies: “What is there to say? My dancing is enough to tell you what Life is all about. And even if there is anything to say about Life, words may not be adequate to describe it. Which is why I am dancing!”
The message of the story is unputdownable. Lao Tzu drank from all three glasses. And started dancing ecstatically. His point was: “Unless you drink totally, you can’t say. And even if you drink totally and can say, words cannot express what Life is all about!”
If you can internalize that message, Life is so simple. Life is just a wondrous series of experiences. One after the other. All we have to do is go through each of them in total acceptance. Because we don’t have a choice. Really! There’s no way you or I can alter what Life has planned for us. So, if Life’s really that simple, what’s holding us back? Why are we not, like Lao Tzu, able to drink “Life” totally? Why are we tentative? One evident reason can be that we are conditioned to think of Life as complex. We confuse Life’s inscrutability with complexity. We imagine that because we don’t know what will happen next, the next event could be something awful, painful, sorrowful. The other reason could be that we don’t want pain. Naturally, if pain can be avoided, who will want it? But pain cannot be avoided. If it comes, and it will, so be it. When sadness follows pain, know that happiness will follow sadness. That’s the way of Life! So, whatever happens, whatever comes, accept it, take it in your stride and keep drinking from the cup of Life!
Drink Life, bottom’s up! Live each moment fully – because this is the only Life you have!! As someone wise has said: “Every man dies. But not every man really lives!”