Q. What is the meaning of the following Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) from the Bible?

Jesus said: “Life in God’s Kingdom is Like this.  A man went to the marketplace to hire workers for his vineyard. He offered them a silver coin and they went off to work. At 9am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm he went again and hired men at an agreed wage. At 6pm there were still grapes to be picked so he hired more men and agreed to pay them a fair wage.  At 8pm all the grapes were picked so he gathered all the men and paid them, starting with the ones hired at 6pm. All the workers got the same amount, a silver coin. The workers who had started at 9am were angry but the man said to them, ‘I paid you what we agreed, are you cross because I was generous to those who came later?’”



A. This paragraph implies that once you enter God’s Kingdom, there is no difference whatsoever with regard to how long you tried before entering the Kingdom. Some people meet Christianity at birth while others find it late in their lives. This parable implies that regardless of how early people start to follow Jesus’s teaching and how long they have followed it, once they enter the Kingdom, there is no difference at all there. Likewise, in Buddhism once you attain enlightenment, there is no difference whatsoever, regardless of how long you have practised prior to attaining enlightenment. Enlightenment attained after practising for 30 years is not different at all from the one attained as a result of practising for one year.


Student: “Why is there no difference after entering God’s Kingdom or attaining enlightenment?”

Master: “Because there is no discrimination there.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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