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18252The Gift of Insults

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Apr 17, 2012
      By Paulo Coelho

      Near Tokyo lived a great Samurai warrior, now old,
      who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people.
      In spite of his age, the legend was that he could
      defeat any adversary.

      One afternoon, a warrior – known for his complete
      lack of scruples – arrived there. He was famous for
      using techniques of provocation: he waited until his
      adversary made the first move and, being gifted with
      an enviable intelligence in order to repair any
      mistakes made, he counterattacked with fulminating speed.

      The young and impatient warrior had never lost a
      fight. Hearing of the Samurai's reputation, he had
      come to defeat him, and increase his fame.

      All the students were against the idea, but the old
      man accepted the challenge.

      All gathered on the town square, and the young man
      started insulting the old master. He threw a few
      rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted
      every insult under the sun – he even insulted his
      ancestors. For hours, he did everything to provoke
      him, but the old man remained impassive. At the end
      of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and
      humiliated, the impetuous warrior left.

      Disappointed by the fact that the master had received
      so many insults and provocations, the students asked:

      - How could you bear such indignity? Why didn't you
      use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight,
      instead of displaying your cowardice in front of us all?

      - If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not
      accept it, who does the gift belong to? – asked the Samurai.

      - He who tried to deliver it – replied one of his disciples.

      - The same goes for envy, anger and insults – said the master.
      – When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to
      the one who carried them.
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