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Seek Shelter from One's Own Umbrella

A Buddhist follower was sheltering himself from the rain under the eaves. Seeing a Zen master passing by with an umbrella, he shouted, “Zen master! Have mercy on me! Could you bring me with you?”

The Zen master said, “I’m in the rain and you’re under the eaves. You don’t need my help because there’s no rain under the eaves.”

The Buddhist follower went out of the eaves and walked into the rain, saying “Now I’m in the rain too, and you need to help me out.”

The Zen master said, “I’m in the rain and you’re in the rain. I’m not drenched because I have an umbrella. You’re drenched because you don’t have an umbrella. So it is the umbrella, not me that can help you out. If you want to be sheltered, you should seek help from your own umbrella instead of me.” He then walked away.

If one has his own umbrella, then he can shelter himself from the rain. If one does not have the Buddha nature, then he won’t be deluded by the devil. Yearning for shelter on a rainy day instead of preparing an umbrella is just like asking for help from others instead of seeking one’s own nature. How would it be favorable by always trying to covet other people’s fortune but saving one’s own wealth? Only one’s own umbrella can shelter him from the rain and only one’s own nature can give him support. Ask your own self for help. This is the Zen master’s mercy not to lend the umbrella.

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