To delve into the intricacies of deciphering anyone's thoughts, it is imperative to master three techniques. The mastery of these methods is the key to effortlessly discerning and grasping the musings of individuals. Allow me to impart a Buddhist tale that serves as an instructive narrative on how to unravel the minds of others.
In a bygone era, within a tranquil village, dwelled two brothers. The elder sibling, devoid of sight, spent the majority of his days at home, while the younger toiled as a farmer. A persistent predicament befell them—their farm was incessantly ravaged by the myriad animals inhabiting the fields. Troubled by this recurring issue, the younger brother conceived a solution.
He pondered, "Why not seek the assistance of my blind brother to scare away the animals in the fields? He can sit amidst the crops, and if he hears any animal sounds, he can shout, driving the intruders away, thereby safeguarding our harvest."
Acting upon this idea, the younger brother erected a modest hut in the field and stationed the elder brother within. He elucidated, "Brother, if you hear any animal sounds, just shout, and the creatures will flee. This shall secure our crops." The elder brother concurred with his younger sibling's proposition, commencing his vigil in the field. Upon detecting the sounds of approaching animals, he would shout, dissuading them from wreaking havoc. This practice endured for numerous days.
One day, a deer dashed through the field, breaking the fence in its wake. Shortly thereafter, a pursuing king arrived on the scene. Observing the blind brother, the king inquired, "Have you seen a deer here?" The blind brother responded, "Your Majesty, I am blind. How can I see a deer? However, I can assert that the creature that departed from my field is not worth pursuing. You are squandering your time."
Astounded by the blind brother's words, the king sought clarification. He questioned the blind brother's veracity, given his claim of blindness while simultaneously providing insights into the deer's worthiness. Unfazed, the blind brother elucidated, "Your Majesty, the creature you perceive as a deer is, in fact, a pregnant doe. I have never heard of a king hunting a pregnant doe. Therefore, I advise you not to waste your time chasing after her."
Perplexed by this revelation, the king, eager to ascertain the accuracy of the blind brother's claim, instructed his commander, "I want that animal alive. I need confirmation of its pregnancy. The blind man appears confident in his assertion, and I need to investigate. Please go and find out if she is pregnant." The commander executed the king's orders and, upon returning, affirmed the blind brother's accuracy—the doe was indeed pregnant.
Filled with wonder, the king sought further enlightenment from the blind person. Addressing him, the king stated, "I may not ascertain the authenticity of your blindness, but I have a pressing question. Will you provide me with the correct answer?" In response, the blind brother assured the king, "Your Majesty, you can pose any question, and I shall respond truthfully."
Acknowledging the blind brother's wisdom and perceptiveness, the king divulged the purpose of his inquiry. He sought to unravel the fidelity of his wife. The blind brother, perplexed by the nature of the query, questioned the king's motivations. Despite the blind brother's reluctance, the king insisted, threatening him with the penalty of death if he refused to answer.
Undeterred, the blind brother proposed a condition, stating, "Your Majesty, if you desire the answer, you must grant me a favor." The intrigued king acquiesced, asking, "What must I do?" The blind brother responded, "For that, you must leave your wife alone with me in a room."
Initially angered by this proposition, the king eventually agreed, instructing his commander to leave the blind brother and the queen alone in a room. Seizing the opportunity, the blind brother expressed his desire to touch the queen. In response, the queen, outraged, vehemently attacked the blind brother with her hands and feet. Despite the onslaught, the blind man managed to escape and recounted to the king, "Your Majesty, your wife is unfaithful."
Incensed by this revelation, the king brandished his sword and confronted the queen. Warning her of dire consequences for falsehood, he demanded to know her fidelity. The queen, resigned, admitted, "Your Majesty, you may as well kill me, but I am not faithful." Overjoyed by the confirmation of the blind brother's revelations, the king sought an explanation.
The blind man, unfazed, elucidated, "Your Majesty, it is quite simple. I informed your wife that I wished to touch her. In her rage, she beat me, and in doing so, she unwittingly confirmed her unfaithfulness."
Satisfied with this revelation, the king proposed one final question. He inquired about his true lineage, asking, "Am I truly my father's son, or do I belong to someone else?" The blind brother, advising the king to relinquish such concerns, asserted, "No matter who your parents are, you are the king of this state. Let this question go." However, the king persisted, expressing a desire for the exact answer.
Before providing the answer, the blind brother sought assurance that the king would not react angrily. The king, promising restraint, eagerly awaited the revelation. The blind brother declared, "You are indeed your father's son, but you are also under the shadow of a miserly merchant." Intrigued by this proclamation, the king hastened to his mother, seeking the truth of his parentage.
Inquiring of his mother, the king implored, "Mother, tell me the truth. Am I truly my father's son, or do I belong to someone else?" The mother, confirming his paternity, added, "Son, you are indeed your father's child, but you are also under the shadow of a miserly merchant." Delighted by this revelation, the king returned to the blind brother, inquiring about the source of his knowledge.
The blind man, with a touch of humor, explained that the king's stinginess, evident in the absence of rewards despite the accurate responses, led him to deduce the monarch's nature. The king, amused, pledged to fulfill any request the blind brother made. Intrigued by the blind brother's ability to discern truth, the king sought guidance on understanding the thoughts of others.
The blind brother, attributing his insight to his blindness, expounded on the three indispensable techniques. He emphasized the significance of focusing the mind on the present to effectively apply these methods. The first technique, paying attention to the eyes, involved interpreting signals such as gaze, movement, and expressions. The blind brother recounted how eye movements unveil a person's thoughts and intentions.
The second method delved into facial expressions, decoding smiles, frowns, and other cues that reveal inner feelings. The blind brother provided anecdotes of discerning people's thoughts through these facial cues. The third language, gestures and body language, formed the third technique. The blind brother elucidated how hand movements, postures, and subtle actions convey unspoken messages.
Concluding his teachings, the blind brother underscored the necessity of focusing the mind on the present for the effective application of these techniques.
The narrative, steeped in profound wisdom, offered timeless insights into human understanding, providing a guide to deciphering thoughts and emotions. As the Zen journey reached its conclusion, expressions of gratitude were extended for the invaluable support on this transformative expedition. The journey, propelled by the power of knowledge, was celebrated for its potential to elevate lives.