Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
– Lao Tzu
A poor man visited the temple daily.
Even after several years he found no change in his financial conditions. He was thus frustrated and one day, he complained to God for being unfair to him and not paying any heed to his needs.
He cried that he was not even in a position to buy a pair of sandals for himself.
He blamed God for not answering his prayers and vowed never to visit the temple again.
He left the temple in frustration, determined never to pray again. When he was halfway down the stairs, he saw a disabled man walking towards the temple. This man had lost one leg and was walking with the help of crutches.
The poor man could not control his curiosity and questioned the handicapped man, “Why do you come to the temple to pray when you have lost one leg?”
He was astonished to learn that the man had lost his leg in an accident just outside the temple.
He further questioned the man, “Don’t you feel cheated? Don’t you feel dejected that God has been unjust to you?”
The answer he received to this question transformed his thoughts.
The disabled man replied, “Look down my friend. Can you see the man who has lost both his legs? I am very lucky indeed. I met with an accident but lost only one leg. Parmatma (A Supreme Soul beyond knowledge and ignorance, devoid of all material attributes) has bestowed immense grace upon me due to which I still have the ability to walk and commute. The accident was so horrendous that it was impossible for me to survive. I too could have suffered from the same fate of being totally handicapped forever.”
The poor man who could not afford a pair of sandals was stunned at this response. He wondered to himself, this young man is leading a happy life even though he has lost one leg, and I am crying just for a pair of sandals? He is so grateful to God, as he has the ability to count his blessings. I am abled by all means, yet I am merely cursing my life. My greatest poverty is my disability to count my blessings!
to more fortunate others
is a recipe for unhappiness
Counting on blessings that came to others may easily cause us to forget our own and this invites dejection. On the other hand comparing our situations and problems with those less privileged than us, makes us feel grateful and satisfied with what we have. How much we get, what we get, when we get blessings, how we get blessing is all due to our own process. Every individual binds different karma (the causality of future actions) and thus proceeds accordingly. However, we may as well choose how to percept situations fashioning these as the way we like; we can do so as we choose a reaction in every situation. Thus, while there may be no control in what passed, in a new moment, formation of concepts and stored emotion may be according to choice. No karma has the ability to determine our reaction and our perception if we set our precepts. Hence, we may strive to store even what is at first unpleasant as whenever we can and learn to accept whatever we cannot. Train your mind to avoid unhealthy comparison and unhealthy competition. Let’s be realistic — bad karma isn’t going to remove itself — it requires some action on our part. We have minds and hearts and mentors and all sort of Internet articles and so on — we are privileged and greatly blessed.
This actually arises in countless situations. For instance here is a humorous example:
We are to learn to go with the flow. I have a perfect peaceful morning routine. One day my morning was disrupted. I felt some anger, frustration; Later, I felt disappointed because I didn’t get to do my morning routine. I was feeling stressed from changes to what I do usually. This was a disturbance that could ruin my day, keeping me frustrated for the rest of my the day. I became an observer of my thoughts; I became my self-examiner. I talked to myself. I changed my precept on this situation.
Breathe. When I feel myself getting angry or frustrated, I take a few deep breaths. This is an important step that allows me to get calm. Even to practice this by itself was years ago a great help for me.
Get a fresh perspective. This always helps me. I get upset over something happening and then I begin deep breaths, and take a step back. I focus away from the problem, until whatever happened doesn’t seem so important. Upon the upset of this day, I thought “Tomorrow or a week from now or a year from now, this disruption won’t matter a single bit. No one will care, not even me. So why remain upset about this? Just let it go, and soon it won’t be a big deal.”
Laugh. It helps me to see things as funny, rather than frustrating. I realize that its funny to act as though I am in control. Its hilarious. So, I bring myself to see the absurdity of acting as though I am being wronged. I can usually have things my way because I am accepting and peaceful and realistic. However, I cannot keep everything going my way just because I want to deserve this. I am a very small part in a vastly supermassive universe. I must change myself when things are beyond my control. Its either enjoy the ability to make choices about how I feel and think about some necessary changes or be upset. So, I laugh at myself.
Be reminded that this is perfection. The world is perfectly beautiful, as it is. Life is not static. There is a flow of change — things are never staying the same — perfection in our universe is moving from one moment to another moment — always — getting complex and more diverse and more beautiful. There is beauty in everything around me. So, I remember to see my life as perfect, just as it is — right now, in the flow. Recall, I already conditioned myself with the earlier relaxation breathing, thinking and laughing.
Accept what is beyond control and change what is not. It was my upset. I have the ability to do something to change my upsets. I cannot change the fact of what already happened. So, that day, I did what was best for me. I changed how I was thinking.
I go to a happy peaceful memory place in my head and then I get peaceful again and when I am calm and relaxed its much better for me and I can solve my problem without the ruin of my day. Sometimes, as with that day’s household problem, it involves getting an expert. Sometimes problems take days or weeks to get squared away. Some problems are longer lasting or even permanent or life threatening. Nonetheless, its my choice as to how I’ll either adapt or increase my suffering.
I’m working on reducing the suffering for me and for others — and for you.
Need help or want to collaborate with me?
Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for visiting.
I just looked around
the quantum of us
your eMotion matters
stillness – your essential nature
whose truth matters?
Spiritual Laws of Success
listen with compassion
Only one Word was on my mind
mindfulness and prayerful healing