Buddha's Bowl

If we don’t accept this gift, it’s not ours. It just lies there, dormant.
Nov 19, 2019
If you don’t accept a gift—or someone's criticism—then it's not yours. Video excerpted from Life Essentials: Episode 3, An Unopened Gift. Full audio or video also available in the Events section of the app and website.

Tom Price: (host)

And here’s—this is my question. And then we’ll get to yours in a sec; don’t worry. Great indulgence for me to be able to ask Prem a question.

I love the analogy of opening a gift; I love this idea of a gift. But the thing I kept thinking when I was listening to you is, “Once you have opened that gift, how do you stop the gift from rewrapping itself up?”

Prem Rawat:

Well, that’s a valid question—except, all that time, you realize that the gift never opened itself; it took you to open it. So it will take you to rewrap it and close it. And, of course, you can always do that. So, a gift is a gift; and unless you accept it, it’s not a gift.

There is a story—I mean, this analogy is a little bit backwards, but I think it’ll make the point—where one time Buddha was walking with one of his disciples. And everybody in town was criticizing Buddha, saying, you know, “You’re no good; you don’t do this; you don’t do that....”

And so the disciple said, “Buddha, doesn’t that bother you, all these people saying all these nasty things about you, criticizing you?”

So when Buddha got back, he took his bowl—and his disciple was sitting there—and he took the bowl and he moved it. And he goes, “Whose bowl is it?” And the disciple said, “It’s your bowl.” So he moved it a little closer to the disciple and says, “Well, whose bowl is it?” He goes, “Yeah, it’s still your bowl.”

He kept doing that and asking him, “Whose bowl is it; whose bowl is it?” And the disciple kept saying, “It’s your bowl; it’s your bowl.” And then finally he took the bowl and he put it in the disciple’s lap and he said, “Now, whose bowl is it?” He goes, “It’s still your bowl.”

He says, “Exactly right! If I don’t accept this criticism, it’s not mine!”

And it’s the same thing—that if we don’t accept this gift, it’s not ours. And it just lies there dormant.

And we come into this world and then one day we have to go. And then we wonder—and this happens to way too many people—at the last minute, they’re going, “What, what did I do?” you know? And yet, that’s just not enough time to sort it elegantly out, the way you would like to have it done.

But now is the time—and now you are alive and you can do things—and you can waste your life. And the thing is, what’s amazing is that the life isn’t going to come back to you and say, “You’re wasting me.” It would be nice if it did: “Khow, pow, khow,” you know? But it doesn’t!

And the other beauty of it is that, whenever you decide to accept this gift, instantly it’ll become yours. So, it’s never too late! It doesn’t matter, you know, if you’re saying to yourself, “Well, yeah, well, I’m eighty-four. It’s too late for me.” And no, it’s not! Or it’s, or, somebody’s saying, “Oh, well, I’m too young.”

No! And, you can’t be too young; you can’t be too late with it; the day you accept it, it’s yours.

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