Tao of finding a singing bowl

wisdom stories of Tao

A man is looking for a bowl of fine quality.  So he visits the most famous porcelain shop in town.

To test the quality of the bowls, he picks up one of the bowls on display and knocks it gently against another.

The test goes like this:  Upon knocking the bowl against another, if he can hear a sweet resonance, he knows he has found an excellent bowl.

No luck for the first attempt!  The sound was dull.  He tries the second one.  No luck either.  Then he tries the third and the forth … How disappointing!  None of the bowls on display brings him the magical resonance he is looking forward to hear.

The old master craftsman sees it, and knows that he has gone awry. “Young man,” he picks up another bowl on display and says, “Why not you use this bowl to do the test.  Not the one in your hands.”

The man does as the master says.  Now when he knocks the bowl against the rest of the bowls on display, every bowl chants!

“So every bowl is good!” The man yells. “But why I could not hear the resonance just now.”

“Because the bowl you used for the test was flawed,” says the master. “I’m sorry but it was a defective one that I was about to throw away.”

If you open yourself to the Tao,
the Tao will eagerly welcome you.
If you open yourself to virtue,
virtue will become a part of you.
If you open yourself to loss,
the lost are glad to see you.

“When you do not trust people,
people will become untrustworthy.”

Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu Chapter 23, translated by JH McDonald

Thank you Ashley Van Haeften for the picture.

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