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Zen Humor

A Zen Buddhist opened up a hot-dog stand and his first customer paid with a £20 note.

After waiting, the customer demanded, "Where's my change?"

"Sir," replied the Buddhist, "change must come from within."

Why do I find it funny? It's not just the play on words, I think it's because it juxtaposes the spiritual and the material so brazenly. The monk is either on another planet or he is being cynically manipulative. Reminds me of some cult leaders I could mention, among which I would classify certain religious practitioners.

But change does indeed come from within. Even when change is imposed there is a factor of choice: acceptance or non-acceptance. To change self-determinedly, one looks openly and objectively in the present moment to gain a new understanding, and then one can cast away prior misconceptions, false assumptions, inappropriate decisions and prejudices - and obtain a new freedom for action. Techniques of one kind or another are simply a catalyst to this process. Recovery of choice is what personal development is about.

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