Close this search box.


Let Go!

Once a man came to see the Buddha. He brought with him two beautiful bouquets of flowers. When the Buddha saw him, he said, “Let go”. The man thought that the Buddha wanted him to put down the flowers, so he placed the flowers in his left hand before the Buddha. Then the Buddha said again, “Let go”. Thinking that was what the Buddha wanted, the man put down the other bouquet. But then the Buddha spoke to him again, “Let go.”

Feeling confused, the man asked, “Venerable Sir, I have emptied my hands. I have nothing else to put down. May I ask what else could I let go of?”

Then the Buddha replied, “When I told you to let go, I didn’t mean the things in your hands. I want you to let go of your six senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind), six consciousness (associated with the six senses) and six defilements (also associated with the six senses). When you let go of them, you will have no more burden, no more pressure. Then you could be released from the bondage of birth and death.”

The man thought to himself, “How stupid of me! Now I know why I am here. I am here to let go – to gain freedom from the bondage of my mind and heart.”

“Letting go” is easier said than done. In our everyday life, which act do we always find ourselves in – accumulation or letting go? If we are aware, we find cravings, desires, attachments or aversion in much of our thinking or in our actions. Simply be aware of them and let them be. Then you know they are not “you” and you are free from its clutches.

Plum Flowers fly in the Snow

This is the month we celebrate the Lunar New Year. Among the many choices available, many like to place plum flowers in their shops, offices or homes. Here is a zen story on “Plum Flowers”.

Once Dharma Master Hahn Yong Un recited his enlightenment poem to Zen Master Man Gong:

How many people stay in a worrying dream?
The great one’s original home is everywhere.
One KATZ! sound breaks the whole world.
Plum flowers fly in the snow.

Man Gong replied, “Plum flowers fly in the snow. Where do they land?”

          “Turtle hair and rabbit’s horn.”

Man Gong laughed loudly, “Ha, ha, ha!” and asked the assembly, “What does that mean?”

One great nun, Poep Hi Sunim, came forward and said, “Snow melts, then ground appears.”

“You’ve attained ground,” Man Gong replied.

Wake up, wake up! Snow is white, the ground is brown.


Related features from Buddhistdoor Global

Related news from Buddhistdoor Global

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments