Grandfather Tree

Now having come to understand that we are all spiritual beings who have chosen to temporarily live a physical existence on this planet, certain musings are inevitable, and shared here.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Letting Go: An Update on the Practice of Patience

[See related post] I have discovered that what is beautiful about this practice is that it leaves little room for negative self judgment. I had a couple of occasions, once when I got really angry at an irritating circumstance, and another time when I got angry at one of my children. I noticed that these bursts of anger were shorter lived than they used to be, and that I was able to consider being patient with myself at the end of them, which minimized the self-debasing practices that I used to engage in. It made it easier to let go.

There is a story of a monk and his teacher who were walking in the forest. They came upon a small creek and saw a beautiful elegantly dressed lady standing on the other side of the creek who was obviously trying to figure out how to cross the body of water. Without hesitation the teacher stepped across the creek, picked up the lady and carried her across, set her down, and without a word, continued on his way. His student was very troubled by witnessing this scene because he had been taught that he was not allowed to touch a woman under any circumstances. He was, however, hesitant to bring this up to his teacher, lest he show disrespect to him. So they continued to walk in silence for several more hours. Finally the young monk could bear it no longer and he said, “Excuse me teacher, but I am confused by your actions. You have taught me that it is wrong to touch a woman.” The teacher stopped and looked directly at his student and said simply: “I did pick her up, my student, but I set her down again. Why are you still carrying her?”

So my practice continues with a deeper understanding of the importance of letting go of self criticism.


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