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Constructing a Foundation

In the Buddhist sutras, there is a story of a wealthy man. Envious on seeing the beautiful, towering three-story home of another, he hires a carpenter to build him a mansion of equal grandeur.

The carpenter agrees and naturally begins building from the foundation up …

but the foolish rich man is impatient and says: “I don’t want a foundation. And I don’t want a first or second floor. I just want a mansion that is three stories high. Hurry up and build the third floor!”

A solid foundation is essential in all things. No building or house can stand without a foundation. The same is true in life. And the time to construct that foundation is now, during your youth.

Ikeda Sensei teaches us, “Setting goals is the starting point from which our lives’ construction begins. Youth is a struggle to develop and shape oneself—an ongoing challenge to train oneself spiritually, intellectually and physically.”

Illustration by Leo Matsuda

Great Path—Volume 28, Chapter 2