Walk with your fears

While hunting for prey, the tiger caught a fox.

You can’t eat me! said the fox. The Emperor of Heaven appointed me king of the beasts. If you eat me you’ll be disobeying his orders. If you don’t believe me, follow me.You will soon see whether the other animals run away at the sight of me or not.

Agreeing to this, the tiger accompanied him; and all the beasts saw them they dashed away. Not realizing that they were afraid of him, the tiger thought they were afraid of the fox.



The stonecutter

β€œThere was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. β€œHow powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. β€œHow powerful that official is!” he thought. β€œI wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. β€œHow powerful the sun is!” he thought. β€œI wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. β€œHow powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. β€œI wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. β€œHow powerful it is!” he thought. β€œI wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering rock. β€œHow powerful that rock is!” he thought. β€œI wish that I could be a rock!”

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. β€œWhat could be more powerful than I, the rock?” he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.”