Recently I gave a talk on Buddhism to kids. I explained about the law of cause and effect, which, for little kids, seemed a little too difficult. In order to help them understand it better, I thought I could use something to illustrate my points. So the other day, I bought several kinds of bread at a nearby bakery. The bread was to grab their attention to show them a short movie about a Japanese baker by the name of Mitsuo Hirose, who is well-known for his additive-free bread. He has his own shop and several trainees; he is working hard to teach them whatever skills he has.
In the movie, he tells his trainees, “Don’t fill the dough with cream like a robot. Use your heart!” “If you’re unable to pay careful attention to the people around you, how can you bake an excellent bread?” I was moved by his passionate guidance. He also says, “What is most important when baking additive-free bread is to have a strong mind that can resist your own inclination to use additives so that you can save time and energy.”
After I gave the bread to the kids, I showed them the movie. I really hoped the kids would understand, if only a little, that healthy and delicious bread is the progeny of the baker’s extraordinary effort. Now let’s read a chapter from the book Something You Forgot... Along the Way.
One October, a man went on a trip to the East. A cool breeze blew through fields of ripened grain that stretched in waves of gold as far as the eye could see. Nearby a farmer was leisurely at work, smoking a pipe, his face creased in a smile.
Later the man returned to the same country, and found the waves of gold harvested into neat sheaves, lying piled by each house. From within came the sounds of contented conversation and laughter. The man said to himself, “This is a paradise. Imagine that—people here reap a great harvest with no trouble!” He could only envy such good fortune, and went and told his neighbor all about it.
His neighbor decided to take a look for himself. He set off at the beginning of May and arrived to find everyone covered in mud and sweat, hard at work. Thinking this was strange, he finished his business and went home. When he came by the following month, he found people sweating buckets in the hot sun, hard at work as before, with no golden waves in sight and no sheaves, either. He fumed, “My neighbor pulled a fast one on me. This is no paradise—it’s a perfect hell.”
Hidden in every success story are tears.
A seed that is not planted cannot grow. People ignorant of this fundamental law of cause-and-effect are greatly to be pitied.
(Something You Forgot ... Along the Way, A Seed Not Planted Cannot Grow)
Nobuaki Kondo, Buddhist Teacher
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #38, Healthy and Delicious Bread is the Progeny of the Baker’s Extraordinary Effort
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