The Commander and the Wise Monk - Book Description
The Commander and the Wise Monk is a Buddhist tale about a military conflict and the powerful change that compassion can bring, even to the most unexpected practitioner. The commander of a glorious army conquers a peasants' land and dramatically changes the habits and the quality of life of its simple inhabitants. Among the conquered ones, nobody decides to rise up. But life events are always unexpected and so the commander finds himself deeply challenged by the most harmless of his new subjects, an old monk who peacefully continues his classes and has no will of rising up against him. When simple teachings are taught from our innate compassion, they can be more effective than weapons. Once awaken to its gentle wisdom, our heart guides our eyes, our actions in life and frees our minds.
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Once upon a time there was a great and glorious army.
One day, this army conquered a neighboring country nestled high in the mountains and enslaved all its people. The Commander of the victorious army threatened to execute anyone who resisted him. The vanquished people suffered greatly. Among them were many farmers and monks.
Quite soon, some worrying rumors reached the Commander’s ear. His soldiers told him, “They say there is one man in this land who is even stronger than you are. He is a wise old monk, respected by all, and they believe he has the power to defeat us.”
Immediately the Commander set out for the large monastery with his men. When he arrived, he ordered them to surround the building and bring the wise monk to him.
“They tell me you are very powerful, old man,” said the Commander to the monk with the long white beard. “Give me one good reason not to have you executed and rid myself of the threat.”
“Very well,” the old monk replied, “I can give you such a reason, but you must remain here with me for three days and three nights.”
“Three days!” the Commander thundered in anger. “Don’t you know that the Commander of an army has no time to spare?” But to himself he thought, “I am somewhat curious... after all, other than this monk there is no danger to me here.”
“All right old man, I agree,” he declared.
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