A Story about Digging a Cave for Cultivation

Rui Xue

PureInsight | April 16, 2006

[PureInsight.org] In the past, some cultivators found caves in mountains and climbed inside the caves to cultivate.

Once upon a time, a young person wished to cultivate. He started to
search for a cave. It wasn't easy. He finally found one and exerted
quite a bit of effort in cleaning up inside the cave. When it was ready
for use, an elder man showed up and said, "You are still young and have
plenty of time. I am already too old and need to hurry up cultivating.
Otherwise it will be too late for me. Please give this cave to me."

He thought about it and then gave the cave to the elderly gentleman.

He kept searching and with lots of difficulty he found another cave. He
exerted great effort to clean the inside and had it ready for use. At
that moment, a person whose hands and feet were disabled showed up and
said, "You see, your hands and feet are perfect. You can continue to
find another one. But for me, my hands and feet are not so normal and I
can't find a cave by myself. Please give this one to me."

He was very reluctant to give up the cave. But after thinking things over, he did give the cave to the disabled man.

Things like that happened over and over again. He was always looking
for a suitable cave. But he always ended up giving the cave he had
found to someone else. He was quite worried that he had not even
started his cultivation yet.

Many years passed. Eventually he also became old and could not walk easily.

Finally he found a cave that he was very satisfied with. It took him a
long time to clean up the cave since he was indeed old now.

Just then a young man showed up and said to him, "Elderly gentleman,
you see that you are old. Even if you were to start to cultivate now,
you would not have enough time left. In contrast, I am still young and
I have sufficient time to succeed the cultivation. Would you please let
me have this cave?"

The man was very depressed.  He thought to himself, "Why do I
always encounter such things? I am old and I have no strength left to
find the next cave."

He thought it over again and again. In the end he decided to give the cave to the young man.

At that moment, a god came and said to him, "Please come with me. You have already succeeded in your cultivation."

Enlightenment: Cultivation has nothing to do with superficial
formality. The key is whether you have reached the state of "consider
others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of
selflessness and altruism" (from Master Li's "Non-Omission in
Buddha-Nature" in Essentials for Further Advancement).

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