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Legend has it that the monk Panshan had traveled through numerous cities observing life and studying in numerous temples. Despite his many efforts at study and meditation, he had not attained enlightenment (satori). He wondered what more he had yet to learn in order to reach that state of enlightenment.
One day, he went to the market to buy supplies for the temple, and noticed a group of people waiting to be served by the butcher, who was displaying a large roasted boar. One of them asked the butcher for "half a kilo of special meat", and the butcher replied with a smile:
- On this animal, what cut isn't special!
They all laughed when they heard this, but the monk remained astonished as if lightning had struck his head.
On the way back, everything he saw seemed to glow like a beautiful radiance, the trees, the flowers, the birds and squirrels, every man and woman he met along the way. At that moment he knew that the words of that butcher had made him achieve what he had longed for.
When I read this story I was very moved, I feel that it narrates the path of travel and learning that we are looking for in life. When we start it, we invest all our time and effort in searching outside, in every external thing we look for that state of enlightenment, of full happiness, of feeling linked to the whole. This makes that search endless as it happened to the monk Panshan in this story and makes us feel an emptiness inside us that we do not know how to fill.
We occupy our lives with endless goals, pretensions, dreams looking for a way to fill that space, but without realizing it we give all the power to the external, to everything that is outside.
Then comes the butcher's answer, in which he exclaims: In this animal, what cut is not special?! and with it that hammer blow that gives clarity to the monk in his way of perceiving the world. Extrapolating from this answer, one might ask:
In this world around us what is not special? In your life what is not special?
Creation is absolutely perfect, everything around us is really splendid, have you ever contemplated a beautiful sunrise and not been infected to start your day with the best energy?
You are special, as well as everything around you, that spark of creation is within you too and the path of recognition, or rather, self-recognition is what will open the doors to perceive the world differently. In order to achieve this, you must start with yourself, it is a task that only corresponds to you, find that glow and love yourself in all your forms, even with your shadows, embrace them, accept them and transcend them will make you a more integrated being.
That is why Master Jesus said "love others as yourself", love must begin at home, if you cannot see that special radiance in you, your eyes will not be able to admire the beauty of others or of creation. And this is not at all about being self-centered or living from the ego, but to awaken that energy of love and compassion in ourselves in order to extend it to others.
When we begin this journey of inner transformation there is no turning back, certainly you can find many wounds, look at painful things, mistakes, among many other things that make you feel sadness, rage, anger, shame, however they are also part of your story and make you the person you are today. Understanding your history, understanding that you did the best with the level of consciousness you had, with the tools you had available, connects you with that compassionate and non-judgmental look, which in turns out to be very liberating.
Dare to look inside, because once you cross those shadow barriers and accept them, you will see the special being that you are.
-The story "The Roasted Boar" is a traditional Zen tale, I read it once in the book "Zen Speaks", by Tsai Chih Chung and I shared it in this article with some modifications.
- First image taken from Pixabay, copyright free: https://pixabay.com/es/illustrations/buda-zen-monje-la-meditaci%C3%B3n-yoga-4338379/
- Lead image taken from my personal archive and of my exclusive property.