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Zen Story – Not Hungry Enough

Today I want to share a Zen story.

Long ago, there was a king whose son was coming to age. So the king sent the prince to a monastery to learn some life lessons.

The prince arrived in the morning. The monks welcomed him. But to the disappointment of the prince, the special treatment ended quickly and he had to pick up his share of chores and work. He was sent to work on a farm.

After hard work of a few hours, the bell rang for lunch. Everyone gathered in the lunch hall and sat down. Lunch was served. The prince took the first byte and nearly spit it out.

“What kind of food is this? I want my meat. I want my dessert. I am not going to eat this.” and with that, he walked out of the lunch hall.

The news went to the chief monk. He called the prince.

“We apologize for serving you such food. We will prepare some nice food for you. But it will take some time. Why don’t you go back to your work?” He told the prince.

The prince agreed and returned to the farm. In an hour or so, he inquired in the kitchen. He was told that the food is still being cooked and he needs to continue working.

Over the next few hours, he inquired a few more times, but every time he got the same polite answer. Now it was almost dinner time and the prince was hungry as hell.

As soon as the dinner bell rang, the prince rushed to the hall and sat down. He was starving from the whole day of hard work. The food was served. The just prince threw himself on the dish and finished it.

“This food is not so bad. Why didn’t you serve this the first time?” he asked the chief monk.

“It was not that the food wasn’t good enough. Just you were not hungry enough. We fixed that problem.”  said the chief monk.


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