Sunday, August 18, 2013
Still Here Excerpt 1
I often tell a wonderful story that illustrates this brand of wisdom. Once, there was a farmer in a village who had a horse that he treasured. One day the horse ran away, and the farmer's neighbor came to his house to offer his condolences. "I'm so sorry for your loss," he said, trying to be a good friend. "You never know," the farmer replied. The very next day, the horse came back, leading a beautiful wild mare alongside him. Again the neighbor piped in: "That's wonderful!" he said. "What a Stroke of good luck!" The farmer replied, "You never know." A few days later, the farmer's son was trying to break the wild horse in, was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. Of course the neighbor came over to say how sorry he was that things had gone so badly. The farmer replied, "You never know." A short time later, the Cossack army came through the village in search of young men to fight in the war, but since the farmer's son's leg was broken, he was allowed to stay at home. "Aren't you fortunate man!" the neighbor said when he heard the news. You can guess what the farmer replied.
The point is that we never know what changes will come, or how they'll affect us. The law of impermanence, anicca, requires that if we want to reduce our suffering we learn to weather change as gracefully as possible, remaining open to what we do not know.
-Ram Dass (p. 129, 130)