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Practice Inner Wisdom

Originally posted on Dr. Aihan Kuhn's Website.

I like this story because it reminds me about the journey of life. In my teaching, I often like to use stories that are meaningful and make a point, to remind/help us to learn and grow. Very often we need to be reminded no matter how smart we are.

A King had a hobby of playing at the “Rooster fighting” (which was an old sport in ancient China, but not in modern times anymore. It is something like the Spanish Bull fighting sport).

The King hired a trainer who had the best reputation for training fighting roosters. The trainer started to work with King’s rooster. After 10 days of training, the King asked the trainer, “Can my rooster participate in fighting matches now?” The trainer said, “No. Your rooster likes to show off, it’s snobby, and too proud of himself. This kind of character will lose in the fighting.”

Another 10 days passed, the King asked the trainer again, “Can my rooster participate in fighting now?” The trainer said, “No, even though he is better with less showing off, he still reacts too quickly to any outside movement or stimulant; he is not rooted.” 10 more days passed, the King asked again, “Can my rooster fight now?” The trainer said “No. He is better rooted now, but he still has anger. Anyone who holds anger will lose the fight.”

The trainer continued to train the rooster for 10 more days. The King asked again, “Can my rooster participate in fighting now?” The trainer said, “Yes. Your rooster is ready to fight now. He has the skills of a warrior. He is rooted like a big tree. He is calm no matter what stress comes from outside, and he has a strong and unbreakable energy. Any other rooster will be made timid just by looking at him.”


This is just a Daoist story, but it really teaches us many lessons. It teaches us to be genuine, to be patient, to be humble, to continue to learn and to grow, to practice our skill in all our endeavors, and to build a real character, to have real personal quality. We often think we know everything, but the truth is we know very little. The universe is huge, as is the expanse of human knowledge.

Why do some succeed and others fail? Why are some healthy and others ill? Why do some are calm and other are depressed or anxious? Why do some always reach their goals and others can not? Why are some people happy all the time, and other are bitter and cynical? Why do some give love and compassion, and others cling to hatred? Why do some always point fingers at others, and some can always forgive?

If we are always mindful, and try to work on our inner self, regardless of what other people do and say, we will always grow and become better with each passing year.

We practice our skills, nourish our spirit, and cherish whatever we have. We give love and receive love, we embrace our precious moments. We don’t feel sad when we encounter difficulties, we don’t get mad when something doesn’t work; we always forgive, because forgiving allows us to move forward. We don’t accuse others, because we focus on working on our own self. This is the way of the Dao, a Daoist practice, an internal practice.

What happens by doing internal practice? You will realize how much you learn each year and how much you achieve each year, because you will have no distractions.


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