Quench one’s thirst by watching plums 望梅止渴

Translated

望梅止渴 【wang mei zhi ke】 有一年夏天,曹操率領部隊去討伐張繡,天氣熱得出奇,驕陽似火,部隊在彎彎曲曲的山道上行走,兩邊密密的樹木和被陽光曬得滾燙的山石,讓人透不過氣來。到了中午,大家的衣服都濕透了,速度也慢下來,有幾個體弱的士兵竟暈倒在路邊。 曹操擔心貽誤戰機,心裡很是著急。可是,眼下幾萬人馬連水都喝不上,又怎麼能加快速度呢?

他立刻叫來嚮導,悄悄問他:“這附近可有水源?”嚮導搖搖頭說:“泉水在山谷的那一邊,要繞道過去還有很遠的路程。” 曹操想了一下說,“不行,時間來不及。” 他看了看前邊的樹林,沉思了一會兒,知道此刻即使下命令要求部隊加快速度也無濟於事。 突然,他聽到隊伍裡有一個士兵的呻吟:“要是有水果樹就好了!” 曹操腦筋一轉,辦法來了,他一夾馬肚子,快速趕到隊伍前面,用馬鞭指著前方說:“士兵們,我知道前面有一大片梅林,那裡的梅子又大又好吃,我們快點趕路,繞過這個山丘就到梅林了!”士兵們一聽,彷彿已經吃到嘴裡,精神大振,步伐不由得加快了許多。

啟示:曹操的機智一念,使士兵們變得精神大振,加快了步伐。 如果反過來,故事裡的曹操也被嚴酷的外因條件所屈服,那麼全軍面臨的是敗仗。通過望梅止渴故事,讓我們悟道:精神和物質是一性的,也就是思想和身體是一性的,人的一念之差會導致事物發展的不同結果。

There once was a warrior (cao cao) was going to war with his men. They were walking and walking as the hot sun shined on the people. The weather was hot and all the water was gone. Nobody wanted to move anymore even though they were half way from the war field. The warrior himself was tired too and cannot find a way to make his men move again. As he thought and thought, one of his men said to himself, “I’m so thirsty, I wish we had some fruit.” And that gave the warrior his idea. “There’s a whole ton of plum trees in front! Come on, men, let’s go!” he yelled. Once a person heard that everybody thought of the ripe, fresh, juicy,and sweet plums, they became more energetic and they are not that thirsty anymore. But the warrior was just kidding,there was not a single tree in that area, he said that on purpose to make them move.

【wang mei zhi ke】 The moral point of this story is: Mind and matter are in one . When you imagine you have a fruit to eat,then you would feel less thirsty.

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