Daily Tao / 228 – Depth


Morning light illuminates the meditating wrestler.
In his mind, even a wooden temple is washed away.
Who could challenge an ocean’s depth?

There once was a wrestler who, in spite of his great physical stature, lost most of his matches. He consulted coach after coach, but no one could show him how to win. Although he lacked neither might nor skill, he did lack concentration and confidence.

Finally, he went to consult a meditation master who agreed to help. “Your name means ‘Vast Ocean,'” observed the master. “Therefore, I will give you this meditation to practice.”

That night, the wrestler sat alone in the shrine and first visualized himself as waves. Gradually, the waves increased in size. Soon, he became a flood. Then the flood became a deluge, and finally a tidal wave. In his mind, everything was swept before him : Even the gods on the altar and the timbers of the temple were consumed in his surge.

Near dawn, the water settled into a vast and endless sea. That morning, the master came to check on the wrestler’s progress and was delighted. He knew that the wrestler would not lose again.

For each of us, it is only depth of character that determines the profundity with which we face life. We can either add to our character each day, or we can fritter away our energies in distractions. Those who learn how to accumulate character each day achieve a depth that cannot be successfully opposed.

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