A long time ago there were two friends, one who played the harp skillfully, and one who listened skillfully.
When the one played a song about the mountains, the other would listen and say, “I can see the peaks in the distance.”
And when the one played a song about the ocean, the other would say, “I can see the waves before us.”
One day the listener became ill, and died. The first friend cut the strings of his harp, and never played again.
Since that time, the cutting of harp strings has always been a sign of intimate friendship.
Reflection: How different would our lives be if our friends were not there to encourage our talents, listen to our stories, and love us unconditionally for exactly what we are?
This Zen story describes an almost yin-yang balance between two friends – the one plays, the other listens.
The concept is so simple, it’s almost impossible to picture in complicated modern life.
Yet underneath the labels we assign to the different personal connections in our lives, true friendships do come from a place of simplicity and unconditional love.