Stories from Daoism: A 'Seemingly Ordinary' Enlightened Man Who Does Odd Jobs

Gui Zhen

PureInsight | September 20, 2020


There was a fellow by the name of Huan Kai who took a man named Tao Huayang as his master. Huan had been performing odd jobs for Mr. Tao for 10-20 years. Huan was a peaceful and prudent sort of guy.

One day, two young children riding white cranes were seen descending from the heavens and landed in Mr. Tao's yard. Mr. Tao hurriedly went out to greet them at his door. But, one of the young children said, “Lord Lao Zi has sent us here to see Mr. Huan.”

Mr. Tao was speechless for a moment, thinking that there was nobody working for him surnamed “Huan.” Then it hit him, that rather ordinary guy who performed odd jobs around the place named Huan Kai must be the one they're after.

He later found Huan and asked him, “What sort of Dao is it you practice that you've managed to reach such a level?”

Huan responded, “I've already cultivated the Dao for many years. Over the past nine years, I've been going to heaven to meet the venerable Jade Emperor. So, today those immortals came to summon me to heaven.”

Upon hearing this, Mr. Tao immediately tried to take Huan as his master. Huan quickly declined saying he couldn't assume such a role.

Soon after, Huan put on some heavenly attire, hopped on a white crane and ascended to heaven.

The way gods see things is different from humans. Humans see status and wealth as important, but gods' take on this is the complete opposite. Those who seem “unremarkable” and least likely to draw attention to themselves, such as the little monk who lights the fire and cooks the meals, are more likely to reach the state of unlocking gong and enlightenment sooner. This is because this type of person bears a lot of hardship, and pays back karma quickly. Those who have great status and wealth in the human world may find obtaining the Dao difficult.

Chinese version:



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