HEARTFUL WORK BRINGS BEAUTY
When you consider it, the world of your action and activity is a very precious world. What you do should be worthy of you; it should be worthy of your attention and dignity and conform to your respect for yourself. If you can love what you do, then you will do it beautifully. You might not love your work at the beginning; yet the deeper side of your soul can help you bring the light of love to what you do. Then, regardless of what you do, you will do it in a creative and transforming way.
There is an apposite story about a Zen monk in Japan. The Emperor had an absolutely magnificent vase which was ancient and intricately beautiful. One day someone let the vase fall and it split into millions of fragments. The fragments were gathered up and the best potter in the land was called to reassemble the vase. He came but failed. He paid for his failure by losing his head. The Emperor ordered the next best potter and he also failed. This continued for weeks until, finally, all the best artists in the land had died, having failed to reassemble the broken beautiful vase. There was only one artist left, an old Zen monk who lived in a cave in the mountains. He had a young apprentice. He came and collected all the fragments himself and brought them back to his work shed. For weeks and weeks he had worked until, finally, the vase was there again. The apprentice looked at it and thought how beautiful it was. The two of them made the journey to the city and brought the vase into the palace. The Emperor and all his courtesans beamed in admiration at the beauty of the reassembled vase. The old Zen monk was graciously rewarded. He and his young apprentice went back to their cave in the mountains. Then, one day the young apprentice was looking for something and unexpectedly came upon the fragments of the vase. He ran in to his master: 'Look at all the fragments of the vase, you never assembled them all. How did you make a vase as beautiful as the ancient one that was broken?' The old master said: 'If you do the work that you do from a loving heart, then you will always be able to make something beautiful.'