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The Middle Path April 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

IMGP2584bA husband asked a Zen master to intercede on his behalf with his wife as she had a very uncharitable nature.

The Zen master agreed to speak with her.  He put his clenched fist under her nose and asked, “If your hand was always like this what would you call it?”


He then held his hand wide open and asked, “If your hand was always like this what would you call it?”


The Zen master nodded.

“A naturally functioning hand opens and closes. It remains flexible, neither locked into one extreme nor the other.  Just as a hand at rest is neither clenched nor wide-spread so too is our natural state.  We are not one thing or another.”

With that, he walked away.

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. joyroses13 - April 19, 2019

Very wise! 🙂

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

I can’t remember where I first heard this story, but it stuck with me. A good reminder that it pays to be flexible and fluid in our approach to people, places, and things.

joyroses13 - April 19, 2019

Exactly! Glad you shared it.

2. colonialist - April 19, 2019

That was handing it to her!

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

I’ve got to hand it to you, Col. You always hit the nail on the proverbial head.

3. Jill Weatherholt - April 19, 2019

To get by in this life, flexibility is a must!😉

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

Yes. Flexibility allows us to be both charitable and circumspect.

4. anotherday2paradise - April 19, 2019

So true. No one likes a person who is rigid in their opinions and beliefs. Flexibility doesn’t only keep you young in body, but also at heart.

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

Yes! Here’s to bending with the wind.

anotherday2paradise - April 19, 2019

I’ve just been blowing in the wind………,..my hair that is. 😅

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

It’s wild outside my window at the moment . . . and the thunder is getting louder while the wind whips the air.

5. Tippy Gnu - April 19, 2019

I like a Zen Master who doesn’t mind a smartass. I’d give him a donation. Not a big donation, but not too small, either.

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

So . . . like 1/2 a bowl of rice?
Hold the sauce. 😉

6. Ally Bean - April 19, 2019

Flexibility in thinking and doing is such a simple thing, yet seems so remarkably misunderstood in today’s world. I don’t get it…

nrhatch - April 19, 2019

Me neither, Ally Bean.

People get all hot and bothered under the collar when people don’t see things as they do. Why should we see things the same when we are all standing at different vantage points?

7. Val Boyko - April 19, 2019

Great story! Thanks for sharing Nancy 💛

nrhatch - April 20, 2019

Thanks, Val. As a yoga instructor, you are sure to see the benefits of flex-ability!

8. L. Marie - April 20, 2019

That’s something to ponder! Happy Saturday, Nancy.

nrhatch - April 20, 2019

Here’s to finding that middle ground!

9. Mabel Kwong - April 21, 2019

Wise words from the Zen Master. Sometimes people follow the straight and narrow and refuse to think outside of the box. Life is about trying to find balance and being flexible about what comes our way.

nrhatch - April 23, 2019

Yes ~> allowing both Yin and Yang to shine.

10. Debra - April 22, 2019

An excellent parable to recall the next time I “tighten up” rather than let life unfold. Thank you, Nancy!

nrhatch - April 23, 2019

Using that “tight” feeling as a reminder to “exhale” is a great idea!

11. Joanne Sisco - May 2, 2019

I’ve not heard this story before and had to read it twice before it really sank in. A good message.

nrhatch - May 2, 2019

Sometimes we are not as generous, giving, and charitable as we could/should be . . . but we should not give away the farm.

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