On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.
December can be stressful. Searching for that perfect gift…preparing that perfect meal…creating that perfect Christmas Day. All that perfection takes away from the spirit of the season. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I take time to read and reflect upon the following Zen parable:
Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from that lake.”
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 the lake right at the edge of it. 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 the Buddha, “The water is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”
The Buddha said, “Let us take a little rest here by the tree.” After about half an hour, 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 clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked drinkable. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to the Buddha.
The Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “You let the water be, and the mud settled down on its own. You got clear water. It didn’t require any effort.”
Moral: 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. You can judge and make the best decisions of your life when you stay calm.
Source: Moral Stories