Sui Dynasty Chinese Painting by Zhan Ziqian

Artful Writing

“Giving Without Strings”

An old master went from India to China to see the emperor, who was already a Buddhist.  The emperor said to the Zen master:

“I have built temples, put up pagodas, and started monasteries.  What is my reward?

And the master replied:

“You don’t get any.  There’s no reward for you.”

The emperor was all shook up, thought about it, and after a while realized what was meant.

If you need something else as a reward, your giving is a fiction.

from The Springs of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

…now, that’s a ‘soulful’ story…to contemplate…