In Friday's class we looked at the concept of patience. There is always such a rushed feeling when the holidays are here so we focused on slowing down. The following is a Zen story about balancing effort and patience that goes like this:
"There was a young man in Japan who wanted to be the greatest martial artist of the land. He thought that to reach this goal, he must study with the best instructor, who lived many miles away. One day he left home to go study with this great Zen teacher. After travelling for several days, he arrived at the school and was given an audience with the teacher.
"What do you wish to learn from me?" the master asked.
"I want you to teach me your art and help me become one of the best martial artists in the country," the young man replied. "How long must I study?"
"Ten years at least," the master answered. The guy thought, ten years is a lot of time. I want to get his done sooner than that. I don't have that much time. Certainly if I try harder I can complete this task quicker.
So he asked the master, "What if I studied twice as hard as everyone else? How long would it take then?"
"Then it would take twenty years," replied the master.
The guy thought, 'That's even longer! I don't want to spend twenty years learning something. I've got other things to do with my life. Certainly if I tried really hard I could learn it much quicker'. So the student asked again, "What if I practiced day and night with all my effort, then how long would it take?"
"Thirty years," was the master's response.
The young student became confused and wondered why the master kept telling him it would take longer. He asked the master "How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?"
"The answer is simple. With one eye focused on your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way."
"what is my purpose in life, what is my responsibility?
whether I like it or not, I am on this planet
and it is far better to do something for humanity.
so you see that compassion is the seed or basis.
If we take care to foster compassion,
we will see that it brings the other good human qualities.
the topic of compassion is not at all religious business;
it is very important to know that it is human business
that it is a question of human survival
that is not a question of human luxury....
It is clear that even without religion we can manage.
However, without these basic human qualities we cannot survive.
It is a question of our own peace and mental stability."
Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth writes, “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.”