Sui Dynasty Chinese Painting by Zhan Ziqian
“Giving Without Strings”
An old master went from India to China to see the emperor, who was already a Buddhist. The emperor said to the Zen master:
“I have built temples, put up pagodas, and started monasteries. What is my reward?
And the master replied:
“You don’t get any. There’s no reward for you.”
The emperor was all shook up, thought about it, and after a while realized what was meant.
If you need something else as a reward, your giving is a fiction.
from The Springs of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
…now, that’s a ‘soulful’ story…to contemplate…