There was a prestigious man in a community who seemingly had all material desires satisfied. He had a loving family, a large house and many servants. Not content with his good fortune, he chose to seek enlightenment.
He first refused responsibility for his estate, believing it would interfere with his spiritual pursuits. He then relinquished all material wealth and gave away even his dearest possessions. Finally, he decided that he must abandon his home. Leaving everything behind except for a small bag in which he carried a few necessities, he traveled through the country seeking teachers and wisdom.
For twenty years he carried his little bag as he walked through the countryside, studying and searching for enlightenment without success. One day he sat near a clear pond and thought how nice it would be to refresh himself in the water. He took off his clothes and laid his bag by the tree. As he laid his bag down he felt a sense of relief and immediately understood why he had searched for enlightenment for twenty years without success. He thought, “I gave up my estate, my personal wealth, my home, my family, yet, for twenty years I could not give up this bag.” At that moment he attained the enlightenment for which he searched.
Tao of Meditation: Way to Enlightenment
by Jou, Tsung Hwa