Chiyono studied and meditated  for years but was unable to find enlightenment. One night she was carrying an old pail, filled with water. As chiyonoshe was walking, she watched the full moon reflect in the pail of water. Suddenly, the bamboo strips that held the pail together broke and the pail fell apart. The water rushed out; the moon’s reflection disappeared. And Chiyono became enlightened. 

She wrote this verse:

This way and that way,

I tried to keep the pail together,

Hoping the weak bamboo would never break.

Suddenly the bottom fell out.

No more water, no more moon in the water – emptiness in my hand!

Zen stories are so simple yet filled with profound wisdom. This story tells us that when a person goes about his daily chores peacefully with a calm mind enlightenment may happen. The suddenness of the pail breaking flipped Chiyono to a “No Mind” state that is Satori.

Enlightenment or self realizations are a result of ‘letting be’ not of strive and effort. Meditation and simple living help in making us hollow and empty and the emptiness in Chiyono’s verse signifies a total surrender of ego.

Thank you my friends and have a lovely day. 🙂

About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

45 responses »

  1. Manish says:

    Hi Sir, my regards n great wishes for the new year! More!!

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Hello dear Manish how wonderful and nice of you to remember to wish me. Warmly reciprocating the same and may you be always happy andays peaceful.

      I am sure almost certain of your success in the professional world. 👍

      Cheers and regards 😀

      Like

  2. namitasunder says:

    beautiful enlightening story. Very true the realization is like wild flowers. It is mostly found at most unexpected time and in most unexpected way but then it dawns upon us when we are ready for that.

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Hi Namita I just noticed my ommission in not acknowledging your beautiful comment. My sincere apologies. 🙏

      However I wish you and your family a lovely New Year. Cheers 😊

      Like

  3. Bindu says:

    Great realisation! Thank you, Dilip, for sharing this story. Your posts reflect the amount of peace you enjoy. Be blessed!

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Oh Bindu so sweet of you but believe you me I confess I need to work on myself much more.
      With sincere good wishes from friends like you helps a lot. I wish you an abundance of peace and joy.
      Cheers🙂

      Like

  4. What a wonderful story of enlightenment.. A profound message held within..🙂

    I hope your week is a peaceful one Dilip Sue xox

    Like

  5. Madhu says:

    Thank you for that profound but simple message Dilip. Have a great Sunday!

    Like

  6. Not very sure ‘hollow’ equates with humility. Unless you mean as in ‘receptive to new knowledge’.
    As they say in ISKCON, a student should be like an empty container to absorb knowledge. A student too full of ego is like a full glass; anything you add will be rejected.

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Oh yes the wisdom in ISKCON explanation is so perfect. To me hollowness implies a complete absence of Ego and that makes our soul sing🙂

      You may like this one “Music needs the hollowness of the flute; Letters, the blankness of the page; Light, the void called a window; Holiness, the absence of the self.”

      Cheers🙂

      Like

  7. hollow and empty… resonates very well with letting go of expectations. I guess it goes back to what you said about letting life be. I know all this is true because on those occasions that I have let life roll over me without forcing stuff, I have been happiest.
    Nice one, Dilip. I am glad I stopped by. Thank you:-)

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Beautiful response as always from you Atuhairwe. I especially like your words “…I have let life roll over me without forcing stuff, I have been happiest” – so true.

      See you soon🙂

      Like

  8. Zara says:

    This is beautiful and what a profound message it conveys, ‘simplicity and acceptance’

    Like

  9. Robin says:

    This is a wonderful Zen story. There is so much wisdom in so few words. I do yoga, but not as often enough. I do meditate almost every night. It isn’t so easy to empty one’s mind. I use an app to help🙂 Total surrender of the ego goes against our human nature. It is truly a goal to aspire to. Best regards!

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      How nice of you to appreciate. Oh yes being regular in such practices is not easy. Fortunately yoga, meditation and self development centres in India are easily accessible. Once we get into the flow then it is easier to do it on our own using app is quite fine too.
      Thank you for your lovely comments. Cheers🙂

      Like

  10. A few years ago, I had joined a yoga course and in the meditation session, our teacher always said: take your life easy, your problem will be gone, take it easy, take it easy. Let it be. Meanwhile…I was pretty sure, everybody’s mind in the room were not that easy🙂. But, I agree with the essence of the Zen story. Live our life easily with no much expectation burdened.

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Its so nice that you did a yoga and meditation course. You are right everyone in class may not find it easy to accept the mantra of “take your life easy, your problem will be gone, take it easy, take it easy. Let it be”.

      I think a modest and simple living is possible. We can also have the good things in life as long as we don’t overdo it.🙂

      Thank you Indah for your meaningful comments.

      Like

  11. Yes, this one sounds familiar so I think I’ve heard it before. Enlightenment comes when we aren’t looking for it,,, isn’t that the way with so many things!

    Like

  12. I’ve read a few Zen stories…they are so full of wisdom and profoundness …love this one too..🙂 thanks for sharing it with us…🙂

    Like

  13. sindhoooo says:

    I love Zen stories too… The best part is that they are always without answers and make us think of it🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us🙂 TC! Keep smiling🙂

    Regards,
    Sindhu
    Tantu
    The Arts & Me

    Like

  14. suhas says:

    Am back after a long outing. You really search great quotes.
    Your quote is the experience of all great thinkers & masters. Meditation is not easy to undertake. Mind wanders here, there and everywhere.
    But “Abyasena tu Kaunteya ;
    Vairegyena ch gruhyate”
    Meaning “By repeated efforts and by dropping of desires; it can be achieved.”

    SUHAS

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Suhas my friend. You are 100% right about mind wandering and the answer too is more right – “By repeated efforts and by dropping of desires; it can be achieved”.

      I love the wisdom in Sanskrit.
      Thank you and kind regards.

      Like

  15. nupoor bansal says:

    This shows the importance of meditation…meditation frees our mind from all worries n boundations…

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Nupoor how nice to hear from you. Yes that’s what we do in our AOL kriya’s isn’t it? In the advanced course which I did in Bangalore Ashram one of the meditation was so beautiful that we actually could feel our hollowness.

      Trust you are doing well and enjoying life. Best wishes🙂

      Like

  16. What a lovely story!

    “‘Letting be’ not strive and effort”- yes. But easier to understand ‘intellectually’. More difficult in practice, I think….

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Ha ha true it is difficult but you’ll appreciate that good things never come easy. We need to work on letting go of our ego the rest just starts happening. Even if the destination is far the small improvements on the way will be worth the effort.
      Many thanks and kind regards.

      Like

  17. Baldeep Kaur says:

    Enlightening!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story

    Like

  18. renu says:

    Letting be is the most difficult thing in life..

    Like

  19. Binky says:

    ‘Letting be’ is a difficult one for me!

    Like

  20. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  21. seeker says:

    Enlightened happens by itself, no force necessary.

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Oh yes Buddha, Osho and other great masters too say so for enlightenment “no force is necessary”. The seeker just lets wisdom and understanding dawn on its own he believes in the Gyan of “Be nothing, do nothing”!

      I always read your words with great respect. Thank you.

      Like

  22. That’s a beautiful zen story, my dear Dilip. Indeed, emptiness is …everything.
    Happy July, my friend. :-0

    Like

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