Cultivation in Daily Life

Pan Wen Shan

PureInsight | October 22, 2007

[] A few days
ago, one of my friends came to visit me. Because she lives in Hualian
and seldom comes to Taipei. I took a day off and companied her. I
thought that she was a little burned out from work and needed a change
of scenery. I did not ask why she came to Taipei. While we were running
around, I tried to encourage her and mentioned some things from
Buddhism about predestined relationships and so on. However, she seemed
to be preoccupied.

Not until we were eating dinner did she tell me that she did not know
what to do. I asked her to tell me what was bothering her. She thanked
me for comforting her. It turned out that her company wanted to
transfer her back to Taipei, but she did not want to leave her friends
in Hualian.

What she said made me realize my bias and my self-centeredness. I really should thank her for that.

When I took her to the airport, I called a taxi and told the driver where we wanted to go.

The driver asked me, "Do you want to go the shortest route or the fastest route?"

I did not quite understand it and said, "Isn't the shortest route also the fastest one?"

The driver said, "Of course not. Right now it is rush hour and there
will be a traffic jam on the shortest route. It will take longer. If
you are in a hurry, you probably want to take a longer route and avoid
the traffic jam so you can get there sooner."

I sure did admire his knowledge. Meanwhile I reminded myself not to
look at matters on their superficial levels. There is a rationale for
everything. What I experienced today is quite valuable and I think that
everyone, by and large, likes to look at things from one's own point of
view. However, everything that happens in life is also something to
remind us of our own deficiencies. If we can correct our attachments to
our own acquired notions, it is also a form of cultivation in daily

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