man wearing a hat and blue lenses


A Zen story, a reading for the soul. Let's imagine that we have blue lenses in front of our eyes since birth. Everything we see will look a little bit blue to us. Precisely, because we have lenses from birth, we will become convinced that the world is actually blue. Therefore, if someone who has had red lenses since birth told us: “Do you know that the world is red?”, we probably wouldn't believe him. We may just think that he is lying or even worse we may think that he is trying to trick us. But the point is, reality doesn’t exist by itself, it depends on the lenses we wear, i.e. on our perception of it.  


Fès - Imperial city of Morocco

Once upon a time, there was a person coming to a new village, relocating, and he was wondering if he would like to live there.

So, he went to a Zen Master and asked, “Do you think I will like living in this village? Are the people nice”?  

The master asked back, "What were the people in the town you come from like?"  

"They were nasty and greedy, they were angry, they cheated and stole”, the traveler said.  

"The people who live in this village are exactly the same", the Master replied.

The following day, another newcomer to the village visited the master and asked the same questions, to which the master replied by asking the same question, "What were the people in the town you come from like?" 

“They were sweet and lived in harmony, they cared for one another and for the land, they respected each other”, he replied.

"The people who live in this village are exactly the same", the Master said.

A villager who had overheard the conversations, addressed the Zen Master and reprimanded him, “Why did you describe the people in this village in such opposite ways to the two newcomers”?

“Dear son, every person sees the world through their lenses!”, the Master replied.

He then concluded, "Anyone who hasn't found anything good in the past won't find anything good here either.

On the contrary, whoever found positive things in the other city will also find them here".


Very often in life, we think we experience the world as it is, but the truth is, we experience a perceived reality, we actually experience the world through the lenses we wear.

If we are only looking for something to complain about we will always find it.

In the same way, if we are looking for something to be grateful for we can always find that too.

“You should always look for the good in the world. If you look for the bad in the world, you will always find something bad. But if you look for the good you will find it, it is there”. - John Frusciante

One of the greatest gifts we have been given in this life is the power of choice. 

What lenses do you want to wear? Do you want to experience the beauty and the good in the world or its negative aspects? 

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you”. - Peace Pilgrim

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Christian Caliendo
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