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Yuttadharmo’s story

March 6, 2017

My first YouTube meditation teacher mentioned a story about Sariputra.  it goes like this

One day some laypersons brought just enough desserts (let’s say these are donuts) to nine monks. One monk was missing so eight monks ate eight donuts and one donuts was left on the table.  Since the ninth monk did not show up for a looooong time, the other monks suggest Sariputra should eat the last one.

When Sariputra took the last donut, the ninth monk showed up, and saw how Sariputra was eating his portion.  Naturally his thought was full of how unjust this is.  Sariputra saw his expression and being already an Arhant, he could even read the ninth monk’s mind.  Sariputra saw sufferings in what to most of us, is an unimportant situation.  Sariputra did not say anything.  Neither did he apologize.  Instead he quietly made a simple vow never to eat any sweet desserts.  From then on, even the most delicious dessert offered to monks, Sariputra would turn it down.

Wa!  太洒脱! 潇洒呀!

Normal people will respond with a lot of “sorry’s”and explanation.  What’s more, normal people will continue to make the same mistake of making another person upset in a similar situation.

Once my wife saw me putting my face very near to my “Kindle Fire Tablet”without my glasses. So she started telling me (like I’m her son) that I shouldn’t do that and that the “blue light effect” would in the long run put me a chance of developing a tumour.

Naturally, I started grumbling back at her like an Grumpy Old Man.  I even brought up how she violates rules which I said were similar to this even though I nagged multiple times how bad those habits could be.

Then thought of the above story of Sariputra came up in my mind.  I said to myself, “why don’t I stop being so defensive and make a vow so that my wife will never be upset, at least about this tablet and blue light effect on me”.  So I made a small vow, and turn quietly turn off my tablet.  Since then, except for bringing the tablet to my interview in Pittsburgh (because I don’t have an iPad or a laptop), I have never read from the tablet.  I read a book instead.  I think I should even clear up all the items on that Kindle fire and give the tablet away.

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