Sometimes temporary lasts a few minutes at other times it is whole lifetime. Sometimes it is measured in minutes or hours at other times it is measured in feelings and yet often it is measured in terms of the only permanent entity in this life. Have you guessed already, what I am talking about?
As we experience the temporary, it feels like it is permanent. This makes us respond in many different ways, based on our perspective, at the end of the day is this response really necessary?
Let me tell you a story a monk told me.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, lived a merchant with his wife. They had no kids. The wife was sad because she wanted to have a baby to hold , love and care for.
One day, the merchant, on his way through the forest, found a wild horse. He was able to tame it and bring it home with him.
A few weeks after he came home, his wife broke the happy news of her being pregnant. Both, the merchant and his wife, were overjoyed. The merchant threw a party and told everyone in the village how lucky the horse had been for him
The merchant cared deeply for the horse. He took good care of him. Then one day, when the merchant woke up, he saw his horse was gone. He was upset that the horse left him and could not stop complaining how ungrateful the horse had been for all the love and caring he had shown the horse.
The boy was fond of the horse as well. The horse was his childhood companion. He missed the horse and went to the first looking for the horse. He was surprised when he found their horse. When he found the horse, he cried tears of joy. The horse started tugging him deeper into the forest, the boy followed. The horse led him to to a herd of wild horses in the forest.
Later, when they go back home, the merchant shows his displeasure at seeing the horse who had left him. The boy explains to dad how the horse had led him to a herd of horses. The merchant was elated, he fed and bathed the horse and let him rest for the night.
Next morning, the merchant got the horse ready and took him to the forest with a few of his men. The horse took him to the herd. The merchant and his men captured the horses and brought them back to the merchant ‘s home.
The merchant sold the horses and made a lot of money. He threw a big party to show his gratitude to the horse and lavished even more love on the horse.
The horse and the boy were growing older.
The boy would ask his dad if he could ride the horse. The merchant would not grant permission to his precious son. On his 16th birthday, the boy told his dad if he did not get to ride the horse, he would leave the home. Under pressure, the old merchant agreed. The boy promised he would be back in time for the feast. The boy and the horse went to the forest for a ride.
It was lunch time the boy did not appear, soon it was feast time, and the old merchant saw the horse limping back by himself. In a rage, he attacked the horse and hit it hard with a stick.
The townspeople went into the forest looking for the son. They found him in a creek. The boy explained how he tried to get the horse jump across the creek and how he lost his footing with both of them falling into the creek. Hurt as the horse was, he got up and went to get help for the boy.
The merchant felt bad that he had hurt the horse. A few days later, when the Country went to war, and all boys 16 yr and more were enlisted from the village. The boy could not be enlisted since he had broke his legs.
The merchant was so thankful to the horse since his boy did not have to go to war.
And so the story continues….The horse that was once so lucky for the merchant was then unlucky and then lucky…
You see, the horse is the same. The man’s perception of the horse keeps changing based on what he thinks is important to him.
So you can go through life, feeling happy and sad for the same temporary events.
Know that death and change are permanent. Your soul is permanent. Your response is your choice . And you can choose to be right or to be kind or not respond at all.
Not to respond, is being in a state of equanimity. Responses cannot be suppressed. Suppressed, they grow like ugly monsters inside our minds. Making it difficult to feel our soul. Through kindness, a response can lead to a place of forgiveness and let go of. Eventually, it brings you to a place of equanimity.