By November 3, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

ZenView-The Quiet Mind

Zen View Subject: The Quiet Mind – A Parable

A martial art is not just a means to defend oneself or improve one’s physical health, although these are certainly some of the benefits. A martial art environment may even reveal how to navigate life for those paying attention. Sometimes these life lessons are not directly taught but can be absorbed by open minds just in being present in class. For example, I heard a story in class one day. It was an old Chinese parable from the days of Lao Tzu. It went like this:

There was a farmer who had a beautiful horse which everyone in the village took delight in. One day the farmer’s son left the gate to the horse’s corral open and the horse ran off and went missing. The villagers found out and said, “Oh what bad luck, your horse ran off!” The farmer shrugged and replied, “It could be bad, it could be good. I don’t know.” The villagers were puzzled at why this turn of events could be considered good.

The next day the horse returned and brought with it 10 other horses, equally as magnificent as the first. The villagers quickly made an assessment. “What good luck! You have many horses now, all beautiful!” The farmer only shrugged and replied, “It could be good, it could be bad. I don’t know.” Again the villagers could not understand the farmer’s reaction.

A week had passed and the farmer’s son was breaking in one of the new horses. The horse threw the son off and the young man broke his leg with the fall. The villagers lamented the event to the farmer. “Such bad luck! Your son broke his leg and now how will he help you on your farm?” The farmer gave his familiar shrug and said, “It could be bad, it could be good. I don’t know.

The next morning, the General decreed that all the young men be gathered up from thevillages to fight in the war. But when the recruiters arrived at the farmer’s village, they rejected the son because his leg was broken. The villagers proclaimed relief to the farmer but he would hear none of it.

The farmer spoke with a smile, “It could be good. It could be bad. Know one knows.

Life’s journey has many bends and where it ends we can not say. Why worry? If you live without attachment to results, you may live a longer life.”



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