A Zen Story: ”This Too Shall Pass”

Written by: Sky Yang

A king once had all the wealth, but he felt continuously torn between happiness and agony and, he would often go into states of rage, disappointment, and depression.

He knew something is not right because he had all the material things money can buy, yet his peace and happiness are never lasting. He knew there was something more.

He heard about a wise man known for being enlightened. He lived just outside of his kingdom in the woods, so he summoned his guards to fetch the wise man. The wise man arrived, and the king asked for his help. “Help me find the type of happiness and peace that doesn’t go away, and I will pay you any amount of money you want.” The wise man replied, “what I can teach you is worth more than all the wealth you possess. You wouldn’t be able to afford it. Give me some time, and I will come back and teach you a lesson as a gift.” The wise man left.

A few weeks later, he came back with an ornate box, handed it to the king. Inside the box was a ring inscribed “This too shall pass “; “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said to the king, “wear this ring always and when you move into any experience before deciding it to be good or bad, touch the ring and remember this phrase and repeat it silently internally, “this too shall pass.”

The king did as suggested. He went on to live a life of deep peace and joy.

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