Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mystery of Consciousness

Hidden in the mystery of consciousness, the mind, incorporeal, flies alone far away. Those who set their mind on harmony become free from the bonds of death.

~Buddha

Rainy Day, Sunny Day-A Change In Perspective
Long ago, there lived an old woman whose tears never ceased because her worries were never-ending. She had two daughters. The eldest had married an umbrella merchant. On days filled with sunshine, the old woman would glance upward and think, "The weather is too nice! No one is going to want to buy any umbrellas and the shop may need to be closed!" Overcome with worry, she would cry and cry. Her younger daughter had married a noodle vendor and the old woman knew that when the rains came, the noodles would not dry and there would be no noodles to sell. On rainy days, the old woman would again be consumed with worry and her tears would pour. Thus, ever grieving for one of her daughters, she lived in constant sorrow. Her well-meaning neighbors, unable to console the old woman, began to call her 'the crying woman.'

One day, she crossed paths with a monk. He had heard of the crying woman and was very curious as to why she never stopped crying. The old woman explained the source of her sadness. The monk, who was very kind, smiled and said, "You won't need to worry any more because I can show you the way to find happiness." The old woman became very excited and quickly asked the monk to tell her what to do. He replied that the answer was simple. "You only need to change your perspective," he said. "On sunny days, think not of your elder daughter and her umbrellas, but of your younger daughter finding the warmth to dry her noodles. When the sunlight is brightest, she will be able to make mountains of noodles and her business will prosper. When the rains come, think not of your younger daughter and her noodles, but of the many customers who will come to your elder daughter in order to buy umbrellas. The more forceful the rain, the more she will sell."

The old woman knew the monk was speaking wisdom and did as he said. After a time, her tears became smiles, and her smiles grew as the days progressed. From that day forward, she was known to all as 'the smiling woman.'


---End of Transmission---

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James, i stumbled across your site a few days ago, and i have to say that you're comments make me smile and i can relate to your outlook on life!! i especially enjoyed your comment "everything is right in the world and that is always the case" i went so far as to print it out and stick it on my fridge! you have inspired me! Keep up the good work!