Thus spake the master of charcoal: "There is no single path to the Tao. Each must seek his own enlightenment."


There was once a charcoal master who used briquettes. "Look at how well off I am here," he said to a master who came to visit. "I have pieces of uniform shape and size. My briquettes are all natural, burn slowly and give off an even heat perfect for the long extended fire. They are inexpensive and can be found almost anywhere. Why do you not give up your lump charcoal and join me in using briquettes?"

The second charcoal master then began to describe his charcoal to his friend, saying "Lump charcoal burns hotter, cleaner and with less ash than the briquette. It burns the hottest of all charcoals yet with moderate control of airflow, it too can burn slow and steadily for the overnight fire. That is why I am happy where I am."

The first charcoal master, upon hearing this, fell silent.

But the two masters remained friends until the end of their days.

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