From my Readings – What a Monk had to say about Hell and Heaven

Once upon a time a Samurai goes to a Monk and says, “Monk, teach me about heaven & hell.” The Monk looks up at this huge Samurai and he says, “teach you all about heaven & hell? I suppose you think you are special? You’re dirty, you smell, your blade is rusty. Who would hire a Samurai like you? You’re ugly. You’re terrible. You’re stupid. I couldn’t teach you anything. Get away from me.”

doors, door, heaven and hell, monk, quote, prologue The Samurai, with his neck muscles budging, his blood vessels almost bursting in fury & rage, whips out his sword to kill the monk. Just as he is about to cut off the monk’s head with his sword, the monk looks up at him and says, “This is hell.”

And the Samurai realizes that the monk has almost sacrificed his life to give him the teaching. He is so overwhelmed by the courage and compassion of the monk in doing what he had just done that he puts his sword back in its scabbard and bows in incredible appreciation of the beauty of that courage and compassion. He says to the monk, “I can’t believe you just did that, risked your life to teach me.”

The monk replies, “And that’s heaven.”