A student came to his teacher and said he was confused. He’d been observing his teacher give counsel now for several months, and it seemed that the teacher never gave the same advice. Not only that, he appeared to give contradictory advice to his students. The student asked for an explanation, for he could find none of his own.

The teacher answered, “It’s really quite simple. It’s as if I’m looking at each situation from a perch above, helping others find the center. Some are to the left, and I tell them to go right; others are to the right and I tell them to go left. To those below, I say go up; to those above, I say go down. The words are not important — finding our center is all that matters.”

-Zen parable

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