There are the parables of Aesop, the insights of Buddha, the stories Jesus told, the Muslim chronicles of Rumi, the anecdotes of Confucius and many teaching tales from Hindu, Sufi, Jewish and other spiritual and secular traditions. With origins in verbally passed on narratives, may are written down for our benefit today. Today I chose to begin my day reading a hand-full and here are the two whose message stuck with me the most this morning.
Teaching Tale #1: A lady had a precious necklace round her neck. Once in her excitement she forgot it and thought that the necklace was lost. She became anxious and looked for it in her home but could not find it. She asked friends and neighbors if they knew anything about the necklace. They did not. At last a kind friend of hers told her to feel the necklace round her neck. She found that it had all along been round her neck and she was happy. When others asked her later if she found the necklace which was lost, she said, ‘Yes, I have found it.’ She still felt that she had recovered a lost jewel.
Now, did she lose it at all? It was all along round her neck. But judge her feelings. She was as happy as if she had recovered a lost jewel. Similarly with us, we imagine that we will some day realize the ‘Self’ we seek, whereas we are never anything but our ‘Self’ all along. (Ramana Maharshi)
Teaching Tale #2: A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.
All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked.
“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth– we’re chickens.” So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was. (Anthony de Mello)
So I go into my day reminded of two things:
1) The greatest treasure I possess is the “self” I already am. All that I will ever be will spring from there.
2) As I think, so I will be. Who and what I perceived myself to be, I will be.
I am grateful for the essence of those two traditional teaching tales. Each helps to place my ‘rudder” on course and to position my “sails” to catch the best wind for this Monday.
P.S. The mountain snow photo at the top is self-imposed distraction from 111 degrees it will be here today and tomorrow!
You are the embodiment of the information
you choose to accept and act upon.
To change your circumstances you need
to change your thinking and subsequent actions.