[1] The Parable Of The Foolish Person Eating Salt From The Sūtra Of A Hundred Parables《百喻经》之愚人食盐喻

selective focus photo of salt in glass jar
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In the past, there was a foolish person who reached the house of another person, where the host gave him food, that he disliked as being bland and tasteless. The host, having heard of this already, poured in even more salt. Since having attained the salt’s deliciousness, he then personally thought and said, ‘As that with deliciousness is conditioned by having salt thus, with little still having thus, moreover if with much?’ The foolish person, without wisdom, then plainly ate salt, with it eaten already, with his tongue losing the ability to distinguish flavours, instead, because of this, became sick.


For example, those from external paths, who hear that regulating drink and food can attain the path, immediately then fast from eating, perhaps passing seven days or fifteen days, in vain becoming drowsy and hungry, without benefits for the path. Like that foolish person, with salt delicious thus, then plainly eating it, leading and causing his tongue to lose the ability to distinguish flavours, this is likewise thus.

[Note: Practices such as having only one near noon meal a day are good, such as on Eight Precepts’ (八戒) purification days (斋日), or even every day. This is beneficial exactly because it is a moderate way of eating, without eating too much or too little. This helps to lessen greed and distractions, while helping to focus energy on Dharma learning and practice.

If there is eating too much or too little, it will no longer be beneficial. Eating too much will lead to bloatedness and sleepiness. Eating too little will lead to weakness and drowsiness. Anything that is underdone or overdone is no longer on the Middle Path (中道). Thus, without underdoing and overdoing anything, there should be proper moderation of everything, done and not done, in thought, word and deed.]

All Hundred Parables:


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