Apri 28 – Wu Feng – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

In the end, it is not enough to think what we know. We must live it. For only by living it can Love show itself as the greatest principle. 

The way that heat allows ice to thaw and irrigate the earth, so our capacity to embody what we know – our quiet need to bring what lives within into accord with how we meet the days – this ancient act of integrity allows Love to show itself as the deepest sort of gravity.

There was a quiet man whose life changing moment of such courage is inspiring. He was Wu Feng, a Manchurian diplomat of the 1700s who was posted with an aboriginal tribe in the outskirts of Taiwan. Wu Feng befriended the aboriginal chief, who’s tribe beheaded one of its member every year as a form of sacrifice.

Each year Wu Feng pleaded with all of his compassion and reverence for life the the chief put an end to this custom. The chief would listen respectfully as Wu Feng would plead, and then after listening and bowing,t he chief would summon the chosen tribe member and without hesitation, behead him.

Finally, after living with the tribe for twenty-five years, Wu Feng once more pleaded with the chief to stop this senseless killing. But this time, when the tribe member was called forth, Wu Feng took his place and said, “If you will kill this time, it will be me.”

The chief stared long into this friend’s eyes and having grown to love Wu Feng, he could not kill him. From that day, the practice of beheading stopped.

Of course, Wu Feng could have been killed, but his courage shows us that at a certain point for each of us, talk evaporates and words cannot bring Love into the open. Only the soul’s presence coming from us can attract the soul’s presence in others.

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