A big, tough samurai heard that a monk living high in the mountains possessed a great deal of knowledge. He found the monk’s hut and standing outside he barked in a loud, commanding voice, “Monk! Come to me at once. Teach me about heaven and hell!”
He looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain, “Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. And you call yourself a samurai? Why you couldn’t hurt a fly. You’re an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”
The samurai became furious. His face turned red and he shook with rage. Drawing his sword and raising it high above his head, he was prepared to strike down the monk before him.
Looking straight into the samurai’s eyes, the monk said softly, “THAT is hell.”
The samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the monk who had risked his life to teach him this lesson. He lowered his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.
The monk said softly, “And THAT is heaven.”