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As some of you may remember my teacher was an octopus (see below story) I have now discovered he may have been an alien ...
Was/is your teacher an alien?
Ollie Octopus was sitting in the 'Very Full Lotus', which as you can imagine with eight limbs is very impressive. Lobster was leaning forward attentively perched on a rather interesting rock and waiting patiently for some helpful advice.
"Make errors," advised Ollie Octopus as if selling a precious tentacle."What?" Lobster slid off the rock; claws clicked. Landing on his back, many legs were twitching and a strange gurgling noise mixed with bubbles, was frothing from his mouth. He was also turning a pre-cooked red.
"Make errors!" repeated the Octopus with great certainty.
"But . . . but . . . " spluttered the Lobster.
The Octopus leaned forward.
"How else will you be corrected? When corrected all is made right."
The Lobster righted himself, his eyes bulged as he stroked his whiskers.
Finally he said, "You mean we should make mistakes deliberately?"
"Oh no!" said the Octopus laughing, "that comes naturally. We just have to admit our mistakes . . . "
"But then we would look a fool . . . " said the Lobster looking around, ensuring no stray fish had seen the fall.
"Did you just fall off that rock?" asked Ollie Octopus fixing a very large and unblinking eye on Lobster.
"Well . . . " said Lobster crossing his claws and swishing his tail from side to side, whilst thinking of an explanation.
Lobster realised he did not like to admit he had fallen.
"I fell off the rock!" admitted the Lobster forlornly, his tail sadly down. A rather silly fish giggled as it swam past. Lobster no longer cared.
"Thank you," said the Octopus beaming as if receiving all the treasures of Atlantis.
"You want my mistake?" asked the Lobster incredulously.
"What was my initial advice?" enquired the Octopus.
Lobster thought hard, 'What was it again?'
"Give up giving," remembered Lobster straining his little mind.
"Well now I advise . . .," began the Octopus, "Take what is not given."
"Stealing?" shouted the Lobster flicking his body into motion and waving his claws in consternation. He was turning a familiar shade of pinky red.
The Octopus smiled.
"Few will give up their burdens and attachments easily. This is why we find skillful means to remove their hindrances. Just as we deal with our own and learn about the nature of suffering. The reason we have to steal others karma is because we can own it, even though others may still be playing with it."
Lobster though for a while and then smiling asked, "We have to steal their bad karma before it comes our way? So I guess it is in our best interests?"
"Yes indeed," The Octopus assured Lobster and continued, "Perhaps you have heard of the 'Eight Verses on Thought Transformation'?"
"I don't think so," said Lobster thinking hard with what little brain was available.
"I may also recite the commentary by the Dalai Lama," offered the Octopus.
"What is the Dalai Lama - is it a kind of squid?" enquired the Lobster stroking his whiskers wisely as if he knew of such things.
"Well it is a sort of squid that does not live in water," explained the Octopus.
"Does not live in water! We have legends of such creatures but they are just stories told by mermaids."
Lobster laughed some more and finally asked, "What are the 8 verses?"