Once during the early days of his travels, Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They decided to stop there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Would you get me some water from that lake there?”
The disciple walked down to the edge of the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a heavy 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 returned to the lake’s edge.
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 drink, 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. He said, “See what you did to make the water clean? You let it be. The mud settled down naturally and you got clear water.”
Buddha continued, “Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen naturally- it is as effortless as breathing if you only give it time.”
Monday Morning Perspective
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~Chinese Proverb
“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” ~Doug Larson
What did Buddha emphasize to his followers?
He shared the truest of facts- that when the entire world is buzzing around you, and your stress marks every situation as an emergency, your mind is so clouded that you can’t see through the muck.
Taking just a few minutes of each day to mentally decompress and find a level of internal peace will make all the difference in the world.
When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and into your environment, such that the people around you start feeling that peace and grace too.
Anyone can throw gasoline on a brush fire, just like anyone can create an “emergency” out of thin air. It’s far better to know how to put it out than how to fan the flames.
One of the smartest men I’ve ever worked with had a sign that hung in his office that read, “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine”. Some people really have it figured out!
Have a wonderfully “clear” week!
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