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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Quantum Leap from Mind to No-Mind
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Chapter 10: Compassion Can Only Be Unlimited

A man like Nan-Sen does not possess anything: the whole existence is his home; this small hut cannot confine him, cannot become his possession.

He said to the stranger:

“Please make yourself at home.
Cook anything you like for your lunch,
then bring some of the leftover food
to me along the road leading to my workplace.”

Do you see? He is not saying, “Prepare my lunch.” He is saying, “Prepare your lunch and if something is left over, bring it to me to the field where I am going to work.”

Nan-Sen worked hard until evening,
and came home very hungry
The stranger had cooked and enjoyed
a good meal by himself,
then thrown away all provisions
and broken all the utensils.
Nan-Sen found the monk sleeping peacefully
in the empty hut,
but when he stretched his own tired body
beside the stranger’s,
the latter got up and went away.

Even then, Nan-Sen did not ask what happened to the leftover food. He did not ask, “Where are all the utensils? And where are you going?” A non-questioning attitude towards existence, such a pure innocence, an acceptance that the stranger must be doing whatever he feels right to do.

Years later, Nan-Sen told the anecdote
to his disciples with the comment,
“He was such a good monk.
I miss him even now.”

This is the very essence of compassion, of love, of trust. You cannot betray it: by betraying it, you are betraying yourself. That strange monk had done everything to destroy Nan-Sen’s trust in humanity. But on the contrary, Nan-Sen’s trust has passed through a fire test.

Years later, he said:

“He was such a good monk.
I miss him even now.”

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