Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Sufi Story That Can Help Give Perspective on Our Personal and Collective Journey

A Sufi Tale: How to Practice Non-Judgement and Living Without Expectation

Once upon a time there was a farmer who owned a tract of land some ways outside the village. He had a son who helped him farm the land and also to take care of a very remarkable horse. Indeed, it was a magnificent horse; so, magnificent, that when the King passed through the village, he heard about the horse and asked to see it.

The King was so impressed that he offered the farmer a considerable amount of
gold for the horse. But the farmer would not part with his horse, and the King went away.

The very next day, the horse ran away!

The villagers rushed to the farmer and exclaimed, "Oh, how awful. Your horse
is gone and you don't have the gold! What a bad thing has happened to you!"

The Farmer replied, "Well, I don't know if it is good. I don’t know if it is bad. All I know is that my horse is gone and that I don't have the gold."

A few days later, the Farmer's horse returned. And, not only did the horse come back, he brought six wild and beautiful horses with him. Each would be worth a great sum once they were broken and trained.

When the villagers heard, they rushed out to see the horses and to say to the
Farmer, "Oh, you were right! It was not a bad thing that your horse ran away.
Now he has returned and brought you six more fine horses. It is a good thing!"

"I don't know if it's a good thing or not," the Farmer said. "Well, I don't know if it is good. I don’t know if it is bad. All I know is that my horse has come back and brought me six more horses."

The following day the Farmer's son was trying to break one of the wild horses and
he fell off and broke both his legs. Again, the Villagers visited the Farmer and
they exclaimed, "Oh, you were right! It was a bad thing that your horse came
back with six more horses. Now, your son has broken both legs and cannot help you with your crops. Surely you will suffer great losses. Oh, what a bad thing!"

And the Farmer said, "Well, I don't know if it is good. I don’t know if it is bad. All I know is that my son was thrown from a horse and that both his legs are broken."

The next day the King returned to the village. He was leading his soldiers to the
border where the kingdom was engaged in a terrible battle with a neighboring country. The enemy was fierce and most of the young soldiers were marching to their death.

As the King passed through the village he rounded up all the able bodied young men to join in the fighting. Of course, the Farmer's son, with his broken legs, did not have to go.

After the King and his men left, the Villagers rushed to the Farmer and exclaimed,
"Oh, you were right! It was a good thing that your son fell off the horse and
broke his legs. Now he will certainly not die in this war as will so many other young men.

The Farmer replied, "Well, I don't know if it is good. I don’t know if it is bad. All I know is that my son did not have to go with the King to fight this battle.

And so the story goes....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Call To A Noble Life

We all have the desire to live our daily lives in the full awareness of our true spiritual nature as free beings and in a genuine experience of communion with God; to live true noble lives. Many people have become disappointed in their spiritual quest for this goal thinking that it is not really possible for every day people who live in the world. The truth is just the opposite. Living in the world of relationships, work, business, daily commitments and responsibilities and the desire for a fulfilling and enjoyable worldly life is not in conflict with our desire to be truly free and fulfilled. In fact our daily lives provide endless possibilities for the re-discovery of what is eternally true and real in us, others and the world. It is not other people or the world which stops us from being fully awake, alive and free; it is our own inner attitude. The mindful practical application of our spiritual knowledge supported by our own personal spiritual practice shows us a way to live in the world so that our daily living provides us with the most direct route for discovery the limited attitudes that steal our freedom and joy.