The Empty Boat : Monk Who Learnt a Valuable Lesson Because of Anger


Story Narration by Pandit Dasa (

*You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger*

A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery.
He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation.
After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own.
With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation.
But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake.
At that moment, the monk achieves self-realization, and understands that the anger is within him; it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him.
From then on, whenever he comes across someone who irritates him or provokes him to anger, he reminds himself, “The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.”

This something we should remember mindfully whenever anger arises.

Leave your anger today because as it is said, Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Enjoy the simple things, spread love and peace.




  1. The way Zhuangzi tells this story, the point is not "don't be angry", but "be the empty boat and float aimlessly on the river of life". Then nobody will get angry at you and you can get through life unharmed. Just empty yourself out.

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