Zen Master & the Emperor
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TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCES &
Once it happened that a great emperor went to see a great zen master. The zen master was rolling on the floor and laughing, and his disciples were laughing, too. The emperor was embarrassed. He could not believe his eyes, because the behavior seemed unmannerly.
He told the master, "This is not expected of a master like you - some etiquette has to be observed."
The master looked at the emperor, who had a bow and arrow. He said, "Tell me one thing. Do you keep this bow always strained, stretched and tense, or do you allow it to relax, too?"
The emperor said, "If we keep it stretched continuously, it will lose elasticity, it will not be of any use then. It has to be left relaxed so that whenever we need it, it has elasticity."
And the master said, "That's what I'm doing."