HU, a Frog, and a Precious Stone
By Harold Klemp
“The Jade Master” is a story in a book by Ed Seykota called The Trader’s Window. It’s about a young man who didn’t know what to do with his life.
He had heard about a man known as the jade master who lived about five miles away. One day the young man said to himself, Even though it’s winter, I’m going to visit the jade master and learn all about jade.
So he walks five miles through the snow and bitter cold. Finally he comes to the jade master’s house and knocks on the door. An old man with a broom in his hand opens it. “Yes? What can I do for you?”
The young man says, “I’ve come to learn about jade. Would you take me as your student?”
“Sure,” the old man says. “Come on in.”
Inside the house the jade master makes the young man a cup of green tea, then presses a green stone into his hand. “Hold that while we talk,” he says. And as they sip their tea on this cold winter day, the old man begins telling a story about a green tree frog.
The young man becomes very impatient. He doesn’t want to hear about tree frogs. “Excuse me,” he says, “I came here to learn about jade.”
“Oh, excuse me,” the old man says. “Why don’t you come back next week?”
Puzzled, the young man heads for home. The following week he trudges all the way back through five miles of cold snow. The old man opens the door and lets him in. He makes the hot tea, presses this green stone into the student’s hand, and again begins to talk about a green tree frog.
This time the young man is able to listen a little bit longer. Finally he says, “Excuse me, but I came here to learn about jade.” He thinks the old man is going senile on him.
“Oh, excuse me,” the jade master says. “Maybe you’d better just go home now and come back next week.”
This went on all winter long, and each time the young man returned, he would interrupt the jade master less and less. In the meantime, he learned a few things. He now knew how to make green tea and how to sweep the kitchen floor with the broom. As he and the old man became friends, he began to make himself useful and help with the things that needed to be done.
As always, the old man would sit down and start talking about the green tree frog. The young man just listened now, never interrupting until the old man got tired. Then he would trudge home through five miles of snow and come back the following week.
One day he arrived for his weekly visit. It was spring now, much easier to make the five-mile walk. The jade master opened the door and told him to come in. As the student sat down, the old man pressed the green stone into his hand and gave him a cup of green tea. Again he began to tell the story of the green tree frog.
“Wait a minute,” the young man said. “This isn’t jade.” Suddenly he knew that the green stone in his hand wasn’t jade.
Maybe I shouldn’t explain it. Maybe I shouldn’t say that the green stone is truth. Maybe the stories I tell you have no more to do with anything than the old man’s story about the green tree frog. Yet what is it that I put in your hand? The Spiritual Exercises of ECK, the word HU.
What you need to realize is that HU is a priceless gem, the most beautiful of prayers, a love song to God.
And how do you do it? You just sing HU every day. Just as the jade master pressed this green stone into the young man’s hand, the Mahanta, the Inner Master, presses the spiritual exercise with the word HU to your heart every day. But you have to take it to heart, and then go about your business.
Go about your daily life. Drink the green tea, listen to people tell their stories about the green tree frog. And wherever you are, do the things that are necessary: bring in the wood, bring home the groceries, sweep the floor. Do these things, and someday you will find that you have the secret of truth in your hand, but better: you will have the secret of truth in your heart.
I tell stories like “The Jade Master” because you can take the principle home with you. It will come back to you over the weeks, I guarantee it, and probably when you least expect it. Someone at work will tell you to do this or that, and you’ll find yourself trying to do it gracefully.
At the same time, if you remember to sing HU, you will realize that you have that precious gem in your hand that can show you truth and help you realize God.
This is all I have to give you, but I can’t do it for you. I can only press this in your hand and upon your heart.
Excerpt from How the Inner Master Works, Mahanta Transcripts, Book 12.
For Your Contemplation
Imagine the Mahanta has invited you over for tea and to sing this song of HU with him—just you and the Master.