Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sunday Story: Peace of Mind

These are increasingly becoming not Sunday stories...

I feel like when I am looking for stories, I read through a bunch of them, and they're all okay, but as I keep reading I begin to remember the lesson from one of them.  It's almost always that story that I pick, even if it's not the most well written, because it's the ones that stick with you that matter.  This story just kept whispering to me: "You don't have to do a thing, life is going to work out.  Just you wait and see." I feel like that message is one that is worth sharing, so here we go.

Peace of mind
Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they passed by a lake, so they decided to stop for a drink. Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be ... and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water... Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having 'peace of mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.


Finally got a Buddhist story!  I've been meaning to get one for a while, but they're kind of tricky to find.  At least, finding one that has any kind of relevant lesson.

Of course, not all of life's problems involve you just sitting back and relaxing, but I think time is the best medicine for most problems.  After a while, almost everything doesn't seem so bad.


PS - beach trip pics comin up! And I'm sorry about being so bad about updating this bad boy, although, to be fair, a week and a half isn't that bad...

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