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January 23, 2011

Koan Study: Natural Course

A rich man asked Master Li what the secret to happiness was so that he could purchase it. “Such a thing is not a secret, nor can it be bought.“ said Master Li “but I can tell you what happiness is; Father dies, son dies, grandson dies." The rich man became angry. "What kind of stupid answer is that?" he demanded. Master Li explained, "If your son died before you, would that not grieve you greatly? If your grandson should die before your son, both of you would be broken-hearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. Would there be a greater happiness you could have?"