Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Chess Game

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery, "I'd actually like to be a monk, but I haven't learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead me to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin." "They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both." was the reply.

The abbot asked for a chessboard, sent for a monk and told him to play with the young man. But before the game began, he added, "Although you need diversion, we can't allow everyone to play chess the whole time. So, we have the best players here; if our monk loses, he will leave the monastery and his place will be yours."

The abbot was serious. The young man knew he was playing for his life and broke into cold sweat. The chessboard became the center of the world.

The monk began badly. The young man attacked but then saw the saintly look on the monk's face; at that moment he began to play badly on purpose. After all, a monk is far more useful to the world.

Suddenly the abbot threw the chessboard to the floor. "You have learned far more than was taught you," he said. "You concentrated yourself enough to win and were capable of fighting your desire. Then you had compassion and were willing to make a sacrifice in the name of a noble cause. Welcome to the monastery because you know how to balance discipline with compassion."

The above story is taken from Warrior of Light

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