“The mind is its own place,
and in itself can make
a heaven of hell,
a hell of heaven…”
Heaven and Hell
A violent samurai who was known for picking fights for no reason at all arrived at the door of a Zen monastery and asked to speak to the master.
Without a moment's hesitation, Ryokan came out to meet him.
"They say that intelligence is more powerful than strength," said the samurai. "I wonder if you could explain to me the meaning of heaven and hell."
Ryokan remained silent.
"You see" roared the samurai. "I could explain that very easily: to show what hell is, all I need to do is beat someone up. To show what heaven is, just let a person go free after menacing him a lot."
"I don't argue with stupid people like you," said the Zen master.
This made the samurai's blood boil. His mind was filled with hatred.
"Now, that is hell," said Ryokan, smiling. "Letting yourself be angered by silly things."
The monk's courage disconcerted the warrior, and he relaxed.
"And that is heaven," added Ryokan, inviting him in. "Not reacting to silly provocations."
“Did universal charity prevail,earth would be a heaven, and hell,a fable.”
~ Charles Caleb Colton
P.S: Life offers us the puzzle with all the pieces……whether we choose to use them to create heaven or hell is up to us. Every moment of our lives offers us an opportunity to make a choice.