THE STORY OF A KING

A king went to a Zen Master to learn gardening. The Master instructed him for three years.
The king had a large and beautiful garden, in which many gardeners were employed, and whatever the Master said the king did. At the end of the three years, the garden was finished and the king invited the Master to visit it.
The king was very apprehensive, because that Master was severe, inflexible: would he have appreciated it? Would he have said, “Yes, you understood my teaching”? It was a sort of exam… every care was taken to ensure that the garden was completed, that nothing was left unfinished. And only then did the king bring the Master to come.
But immediately the Master was saddened. He looked around, went from one side of the garden to the other, and his face became more and more serious. The king was frightened: he had never seen the Master so serious: “Why was he so gloomy? Did I make such a serious mistake?”. The Master shook his head all the time and said no to himself; finally, the king could not help asking: “What is wrong, Master? Why don't you say anything? How come you frown so, and shake your head in denial? This garden is the fruit of your teachings”.
And the Master said, “This garden is too finished, it is so complete that it is a dead thing. Where are the dry leaves? I don't see a single dry leaf!" All the dry leaves had been removed, there was not a single yellow leaf on the trees, not a fallen leaf on the paths.
The king said: "I have instructed my gardeners to remove every imperfection, so that the garden would be perfect!".
“That is why it is so devoid of life,” replied the Master, “because it is absolutely artificial, it is the work of man: the things of God are never accomplished, they are always incomplete.”
Outside the garden all the dry leaves were piled up. The Master ran out, fetched a bucket of dry leaves and scattered them in the wind. The wind took them, began to play with them, the leaves rolled on the path. The Master was thrilled. He said: “Look now how alive this garden is!”. With the dry leaves a sound had entered the garden, the song, the music of the leaves blown by the wind. Now, the garden had a whisper; before, it was dead and silent as a graveyard.

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