In association with

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from
The Hole-y Bucket
by Gopal Dada

[Listen to Audio!]

2481.jpgA student approaches the teacher with the question, “Could you help me with a question I’ve been struggling with — what is the purpose of my life?”

The wise teacher responds, “We’ll get to that in time. Until then, why don’t you first fill this drum with water from the river down below this valley.”

He then hands him a dirty, greasy, mud wrapped bucket with lots of little holes in them to use as a medium of transfer.

The diligent student does as he’s told. He walks all the way down the valley, fills up this "hole-y" bucket, walks all the way up to the drum that lays it beside their shack. Deeply immersed in the act of doing the task, he doesn’t notice how much water leaks through the holes.

Days pass. Months pass. And the drum is yet to be filled.

Frustrated and tired, the student approaches the teacher: “I’ve been filling this bucket for the past so many months, and the drum is nowhere closer to filling up. I don’t know how I will ever find an answer to my question!”

With a kind heart, the teacher takes the student’s hand and walks him down to the valley. The same path that the student took every day to fulfill his impossible task. Pointing to the beauty on the path, the teacher then explains, "A few months ago, this was barren land. Now, see, it is a blooming garden. Every day that you carried water in your leaky bucket, you didn’t realize it but you watered this land. Now you can see the spring of little bulbs of grass and flowers."

Then he holds up the bucket and adds, "When I first gave you this bucket, it was greasy, mud-covered, dirty inside and outside. Each time that you carried the water in it, a little of the dirt and grease got washed off."

Without any further explanation, the student understood. The answer to his original question sprung forth from within his heart, "I’m like that bucket, with a purpose of filling the drum. I may not be able to see how I’m being cleansed, or all the saplings I’ve accidentally watered, but someday, a kind hand will help me see the blooming garden. I’ll understand that every leak has its own divine purpose. Then, I’ll just act without regard for outcomes or purpose. I’ll simply serve with joy."

About the Author: Gopal Dada was a life-long teacher, volunteer and story-teller. His simple life experiences continue to be a lighthouse for many he touched through word of mouth.

Share the Wisdom:
Email Twitter FaceBook
Latest Community Insights New!
The Hole-y Bucket
What do you make of the metaphor of the leaky bucket and its connection to the purpose of our life? Can you share a personal story of a time you became aware of the blooming garden you had watered accidentally? What helps you act without regard for outcomes or purpose?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: What is the purpose of life is a perennialquestion asked by philosophers, mystics, sages, spiritual seekers and persons like me. Gopal Dada uses the metaphor of the Hole-y or leaky bucket and its conn…
David Doane wrote: My graduate education was metaphorically a leaky bucket. I learned and it helped me get into my chosenprofession, but it had many holes in it. Then I discovered that my profession is also a leaky buck…
Share/Read Your Reflections
Awakin Circles:
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.

RSVP For Wednesday

Some Good News

• For the Sake of One We Love and Are Losing: A Meditative Poem
• Social Distance: A Community-Style Poem
• Contact with the Sacred

Video of the Week

• Freedom University: We Can Be More

Kindness Stories

Global call with Padma and Narsanna Koppula !
562.jpgJoin us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>

Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

Forward to a Friend

Awakin Weekly delivers weekly inspiration to its 93,935 subscribers. We never spam or host any advertising. And you can unsubscribe anytime, within seconds.

On our website, you can view 17+ year archive of these readings. For broader context, visit our umbrella organization:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: