If You Have an Angry Moment (or two)…

Whenever I’m feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed with circumstances beyond my control, I recall the following Zen parable.

You are at the grand opening of a new shopping mall on the edge of town. You’ve been driving around looking for a parking space for ten minutes. At last, right in front of you, a car pulls out of a spot. You hit your turn signal and wait as the car backs out. Suddenly, from the other direction, comes a Jeep that pulls into the space. Not only that, but when you honk, the driver gets out, smirks, and gives you the finger.

Are you angry?

Now change the scene ever so slightly. Instead of a brash Jeep driver, a cow walks into the space from the other direction and settles down in the middle of it. When you honk, she looks up and moos but doesn’t budge.

Are you angry?

cowpicture

Source: The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston (Amazon link)