Ancient Cultivation Story: A Story about Selflessness

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[Chinese folklore is full of ancient stories of cultivation, immortals and taoists. These stories, often mystical and full of magical happenings, reflect the depth to which the concept of cultivation permeates the whole of Chinese culture, tradition and history. These stories are not directly related to Falun Gong, but are included on Clear Harmony because they are of interest to western people, providing an insight into the deep cultural tradition of cultivation practices in China.]

In an ancient monastery there was an old Taoist master who had taught a group of students the high level principles of his. The day came when the Taoist Master said to his students, “ The time has come. Tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 be at the bank of the river and I will give you all your final test that will enable you to reach consummation [completion of cultivation].”


The next day all the students hurried out of the monastery so as not to be late for their master’s final test. On the way they passed a poor lady crying by a tree. She said, “Help my son has fallen down the well please help!”


Fearful that they would be late for their Master all of the students continued to hurry down the path towards the river, par one. This one student stopped and looked at his fellow students hurrying away. He then looked at the lady and then again at the students. In his heart the student knew that he had to help this lady. However, he also knew that he would not make it in time for his Master’s final test for consummation. Knowing this the student walked towards the crying lady, jumped down the well and rescued the lady’s son. As the student came out of the well the lady approached him. At that moment to the students surprise the lady turned into the Taoist Master. The Taoist master said to the student that he had passed the final test and he would be the only one who would reach consummation.

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