Once upon a time, in the State of Chi, during China’s Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.–221 B.C.), there was a very cowardly man who always let his strange imagination run away with him.
One day after supper, he sat down in the doorway of his home with a big cattail leaf fan in hand to enjoy the cool breeze. Suddenly he said to himself, “What would we do if, one day, the sky fell in on us all?”
Realizing this, he started to worry all the time. Then his friends started to worry about him.
One day a wise man asked the cowardly man whether he had got into some trouble. He replied, “Look at the sky above our head. What should we do if it falls down some day?” The wise man laughed and told him that he was worrying about nothing. The cowardly man continued, asking whether the sun, moon, or stars would fall down. The wise man assured him they would not. The craven man was still a bit worried and he continued to ask, “You said the sky won’t fall down, neither will the sun, moon nor stars. Then will the ground underneath our feet collapse?” The sage told him to stop thinking silly thoughts and move on with his life. It was not until then that the cowardly man stopped worrying.
Everything has a price. The price of birth is death. After we are born we immediately start to die. The only difference is whether it is faster or slower. We can’t change the past, but we can ruin the present by worrying about the future.
One day a person asked Buddha, “Why do people of great virtue, who cultivate their moral character and nourish their Buddha nature always seem so calm and filled with brilliant joy?
“They are not sad for things of the past,
They do not crave things not yet delivered from the future,
This present is enough for them.
Therefore, they appear filled with joy.
No pursuit of the future,
No grief for the past,
They are not like fresh cut flowers gradually withering away.”