Without Even Sweeping One Room, How Can You Sweep the World?
(Clearwisdom.net) Chen Fan was a renowned scholar in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD 220 AD). In his childhood he was actually very sluggish, rarely sweeping his room, and storing his possessions randomly. One day, a friend of his fathers came to visit. Seeing that the room was extremely disorderly and that Chen Fan had just disregarded it, this friend said: "Child, why don't you tidy up your room before entertaining a guest?" Chen Fan replied, "My hands are mainly for sweeping the world." This friend asked in reply: "Without even sweeping one room, how can you sweep the world?" Upon hearing this, Chen Fan blushed, cleaned the house immediately and treated the visitor courteously.
My enlightenment from this story is as follows: In reality many persons are not willing to pay attention to minor matters, nor are they capable of minding important matters, and finally, they accomplish nothing at all. Practitioners should be like this even less so. Regardless of whether it's an important matter or a minor matter, so long as it is what Master would like us to do, we must always do it well and with all our hearts. We cannot go by our own feelings in cultivation, because our own feelings are actually not important. The seemingly minor matters can often truly expose our innermost attachments. For practitioners, finding out ones problems is a good thing, for only by correcting the problem is one able to improve.