Wednesday 20 July 2011

A Wonderful Indian Parable About Fear...

I heard this story in India, and I'm sharing it as I heard it...One of the most important stories I have ever known..

A boy wishing to become a Buddhist monk went to a monastery. The lead Buddhist Monk took him to a small room with a pool covering most of the floor. In the pool were human bones, and over the pool was a narrow plank that connected one side to the other. The priest said that the liquid in the pool was acid, and that the bones belonged to people who tried to walk on the plank and fell in and died. He then told the boy that if he wanted to become a monk himself, he must cross the plank first. The boy was afraid, but agreed to the challenge. In one week, he will try.

The boy got a similar plank, placed it on two rocks to elevate it from the ground, and practiced walking on it day and night. The first few days he fell quite a few times on the ground, but he just got up and tried again. The last few days, he did not fall at all. Not a single time. He could even do it blindfolded, and on one foot.

When it was time for the actual crossing, the boy panicked and broke a sweat. This time, if he fell, he would die. He considered not taking the test, but felt shame and also determination. As he took his few first steps, he lost balanced and fell into the acid. But nothing happened to him.

The Monk laughed!

The Monk said that it was just water, and that these remains in the water were remains of other people who had died normal deaths but were placed there for the test. He said the reason the boy fell and failed this time in something that was, and IS, so easy for him was because of the FEAR of consequences. At practice, one could just fall and fail, stand up and walk again. But in this one, one would supposedly die a horrible death. This was why, although it was the same exact walk the boy had done so many times before, it was much harder.

Fear makes everything we do much harder than it actually is. Letting go of fear makes everything we do much easier, as easy they can be.

He then welcomed the boy into the monastery, as he had always intended to…

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