Are you confused and exhausted, one minute gnashing your teeth and then dancing a happy dance only to begin keening once again all based on the latest news. Don’t let the weight and density of the world squash your tender spirit, be reminded that it’s through the extreme pressure of life’s trials that diamonds are cultivated.
Last week I celebrated a young lady’s high school graduation ceremony. She and I share a mother-daughter relationship and I was very touched by it all, the graduating ceremony being a wonderful pivot doing everything on-line and in cars and yet fabulous and an event to remember. One of the speakers took us back memory lane during the last four years and we were all shocked by the number of events that have happened during this timeline.
A traditional Zen Buddhist fable tells of a farmer to whom all kinds of events happened and his reaction when people would enter the drama of saying how wonderful or how terrible that “thing” was, he would answer “this could be good or this could be bad, who could say, we shall see”. [Read Zen Buddhist full story!]
In these tumultuous times, this philosophy could serve as well. When I can find a moment to center myself, to be silent, to pray, to meditate, to contemplate, I am able to access the energy of equanimity of this Zen farmer. Equanimity and curiosity, are two words that came to me yesterday morning after my meditation, the definition of equanimity is “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” Just like the Zen farmer, we have the capacity to be composed regardless of what is happening around and to be curiously asking ourselves what good can come out of this?, what can I do to make things better?, and how can I learn and become a better person?.
When I live life remembering that life happens FOR me and not TO me my perspective changes. Everything is exactly as it should be. Nothing needs to happen differently.
I invite you to go within every single day. If you are already doing it, how about doing it for a little bit longer? I know that when I take time to connect with my highest self it becomes easier for me to understand that events are happening in Divine timing. I reconnect with hope an possibility. I understand that what can be perceived as chaos, death, or delay is actually a transformation that has in it a tendril of new life that only needs our trust and our faith to eventually take form.
Valerie Shakti Bottazzi
Shamanic Coach & Healer
BUDDHIST ZEN FARMER FABLE
(Known in different sources as a Chinese Taoist tale)
A farmer who had worked his crops for many years was working in his field one late summer afternoon with his old sick horse. The compassionate farmer decided to let the horse loose to live out the rest of its life free in the mountains. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck your horse was so old”, they said sympathetically. The farmer replied: “Who could say? We shall see.”
Two days later the old horse came back with 3 other wild horses, which followed the old horse into the corral. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. The farmer softly said, “Who could say? We shall see.”
The next morning the farmer’s only son tried to train the new wild horses and was thrown to the groundbreaking his leg. Once again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for what they called his “misfortune, now you won’t have his help and you’ll have to do all the work yourself. “Maybe”, the farmer answered, “Who could say? We shall see.”
A few days later, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, he was deemed unfit for war and passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “You must be very happy” they said. “Who could say? We shall see” replied the farmer.
With time the son’s leg healed and was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences and again the farmer replied “Who could say? We shall see.”
When war ended the villager found out that their sons had all died in the war. As it turned the farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. Since the farmer was who he was, as he became wealthy he was also very generous to the villagers. They said: “Oh how fortunate we are; you must be very happy” to which the farmer softly calmly said, “Who could say? We shall see.”