Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019-08 - Just a Fly in My Tea...

One afternoon, a fly fell into my tea. This was a minor occurrence. As I lifted my cup, I must have registered, by a small grunt, the presence of the fly.

Choegyal leaned forward in sympathy and consternation, "What is the matter?" "Just a fly in my tea.", I said. After all, I was a seasoned India-wallah, relatively free of Western phobias and attachments to modern sanitation.

Choegyal crooned softly, "Oh, oh, a fly in the tea." "It's no problem," I reiterated, smiling at him reassuringly.

But he leaned over and inserted his finger gently into my tea. With great care he lifted out the offending fly, and then exited from the room.

When Choegyal re-entered the cottage he was beaming. "He is going to be all right.", he told me quietly. He explained how he had placed the fly on the leaf of a branch, where his wings could dry. And the fly was still alive, because he began fanning his wings, and we confidently expect him to take flight soon...

That is what I remember of that afternoon - not the agreements we reached or plans we devised, but Choegyal's report that the fly would live. I could not, truth to tell, share Choegyal's dimensions of compassion, but the pleasure in his face revealed how much I was missing by not extending my self-concern to all beings, even to flies.

~ Joanna Macy

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.

~ Lao Tzu

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

2019-07 - The Old Man and the Scorpion...

One morning, after he had finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion was washed closer to the tree, the old man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to rescue the drowning creature.

As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively the man withdrew his hand. A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion. This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hand became swollen and bloody and his face contorted with pain.

At that moment, a passer-by saw the old man stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: "Hey, stupid old man, what's wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don't you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?"

The old man turned his head. Looking into the stranger's eyes he said calmly, "My friend, just because it is the scorpion's nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save."

~ Art Mitchel

Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.

~ Allen Ginsberg

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2019-06 - Shine in your own way...

A samurai who was known for his nobility and honesty once asked a monk, "Why do I feel so inferior? I have faced death many times, have defended those who are weak. Nevertheless, upon seeing you meditating, I felt that my life had absolutely no importance whatsoever."

The master invited him in and led him to his room.

"Do you see the moon, how beautiful it is? It will cross the entire firmament, and tomorrow the sun will shine once again."

"But sunlight is much brighter, and can show the details of the landscape around us: trees, mountains, clouds."

"I have contemplated the two for years, and have never heard the moon say: why do I not shine like the sun? Is it because I am inferior?"

"Of course not", answered the samurai. "The moon and the sun are different things; each has its own beauty. You cannot compare the two."

"So you know the answer. We are two different people, each fighting in his own way for that which he believes, and making it possible to make the world a better place; the rest are mere appearances."

~ Author Unknown

We are each gifted in a unique and important way.” 

~ Evelyn Dunbar