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A Zen Story: The Cut Crystal Glass

There's a story of a Zen Master who was given a cut crystal glass by a former student. It was a beautiful object to look at and sip water from. The Master would show the glass to visitors, and tell them about the kindness of his former student.

What the visitors didn't know was that every morning, he held the cup in his hand for a few seconds and said to himself 'this glass is already broken'.

One day a visitor bumped into a table and knocked the crystal glass onto the floor, it smashed instantly. Broken beyond repair. The visitors were shocked and turned to the Master to witness his reaction.

The Master looked at the mess, smiled and said 'ah, let's begin'. He picked up a broom and began to sweep up the pieces.


The lesson we can take from this..? It could be to never have visitors over! Or... To be grateful for the possessions, material objects we have. To thoroughly enjoy them, whilst knowing they won't last, because to know this truth; is contentment.

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