Very Zen story about possessions
I think I read this in "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle but it could have come from another similar book - I'm usually reading 2 or 3 at the time and get them mixed up. Anyway, the story went something like this:
A Buddhist monk studdied under his master for many years. Finally, the master told the monk he was ready to take his final vows, but first the monk must give his master his most loved possession.
The monk went away and looked through his things. Every time he though he'd found his most prized possession, he would think, "I don't love this possession more than my master - it's not a gift worthy of my master." The monk worked his way through every possession he owned and was sad that he could not find anything he loved enough to be a worthy gift for his master.
The monk returned to his master and told him that he could not take final vows because he did not have a possession he loved enough to be a worthy gift for the master. "Child," the master answered, "you have already attained enlightenment. You have passed your vows."
When I read this several weeks ago, I started thinking about my possessions and what would I present to the master? I've come to the conclusion that there are still a few things I would "love" enough to present to the master - my mom's wedding ring, my grandma's tea set, my kids' artwork with "I love you Mommy" on each page, a few items my best friend gave me over the years, the quilts my mom made, my sewing machine...so I guess I'm still pretty far off. But the story did make me realize that about 95% of the stuff in my house is just stuff. I would not consider it worthy to give the master - I don't love it. And that realization has helped me get rid of it (like the scrapbooking stuff I gave to my friend today).
I'm sharing this in the hopes it makes others think about their stuff, too. I just wish it would sink in to DH - I read him the story and he said "that's nice" which means "I didn't hear a word you just said."