GRANDFATHER AND GRANDSON
In a small field, a boy and his grandfather were digging the soil. They were turning it over, smashing the lumps, preparing it for the year’s sowing. It was hard work but necessary for the bountiful harvest they would receive from all their efforts.
The old man was well into his 70s and was panting a fair bit. With every fork load that was turned, sweat dripped from his forehead, but he didn’t complain.
His grandson was 17 years old, fit, strong, and able. He cursed with every fork load that was turned. He huffed and puffed and complained before sticking the fork in once again, cursing as he went.
After a while, the young grandson noticed how much more his grandfather had done than he himself. “Grandpa, how come you have achieved more than me when you are so much older?” he asked
The reply wasn’t what he expected: “ Thinking about it, that’s the hard bit; doing it, that’s the easy bit.”
The grandson was taken aback. The grandfather continued: “When you spend your time thinking ‘How hard this is; how much more to go; my back aches’—that’s the hard bit. It’s far harder thinking about all these things, getting caught up in a whirlwind of your own thoughts, than it is to actually do the physical work in the first place.
“While you stand after every fork load and allow your mind to dwell on the negative, I have done another three more fork loads than you have. I only look at what I have done, which is always pleasing and positive.”
THIS, I KNOW
We hurt each other with our speech more than anything at all. That's why I love this teaching called the Three Gates of Speech: First, is it True? Second, is it Kind? Lastly, is it Necessary?
Too often, we limit our idea of ahimsa to just human beings, but a human being is just a small part of this planet. There are countless other living beings. So how can we live our lives with as less cruelty as possible?
The single biggest thing I can do, if I claim to love the earth, is to live on a completely plant-based diet. Good for my health and the environment. If I claim I love animals, then we have to not limit our love to cats and dogs but broaden our notion to see all beings as our brothers and sisters.
Some four million animals die every week; so, how are we talking about spirituality if we’re not expanding our idea of compassion.
It is time for us to realise that our compassion can’t just be felt sitting on a meditation cushion.
If death is one reality so sure,
And everything else, a façade and lure,
Wouldn’t life be, then, just another dream?
And as we dream in the dream,
We try to grasp it tight,
Dissecting every moment as wrong or right,
We drown ourselves in the plethora of things,
Forgetting who we really are,
And, at times, act like an elf chasing a fallen star.
But far and beyond, when we meet the inner eye,
Think, there will no longer be any room for ‘I,’
As we all merge into one big violet sky.
The disciple was planning her wedding banquet and declared that out of love for
the poor, she had got her family to go against convention by seating the poor
guests at the head of the table and the rich guests at the door.
She looked into the master’s eyes, expecting his approval. The master stopped to
think, then said, “That would be most unfortunate, my dear. No one would enjoy
the wedding. Your family would be embarrassed, your rich guests insulted, and
your poor guests hungry for they would be too self-conscious at the head of
the table to eat their fill.
“Call it meditation, call it prayer, call it silence, any name will do, but the essential point is to start dropping the mind with all its noisy thoughts.”
JUST FOR LAUGHS
A young monk and his master were walking one behind the other, and the disciple was constantly asking too many questions. The master said that he would like to cover the rest of the journey in silence instead.
The young monk sulked a bit. The master who was only focussed on the journey ahead without stopping or looking back, said as he walked, “Don’t roll your third eye at me.”
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