BECOME A LAKE

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter” spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things …. stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Source | A Hindu parable as told by
Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening
(Conari Press, 2011) pages 17-18

CONSIDER THIS

“The more spacious and larger our fundamental nature, the more bearable the pains in living.” | Wayne Muller

 

THE LION WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A SHEEP

There was a lion that grew up in a flock of sheep and so he had no consciousness that he was a lion.  He didn’t know he was a lion.  He would bleat like a sheep, he’d eat grass like a sheep.  One day they were wandering at the edge of a big jungle when a mighty lion let out a big roar and leaped out of the forest and right into the middle of the flock.  All the sheep scattered and ran away.  Imagine the surprise of the jungle lion when he saw this other lion there among the sheep.  So, he gave chase.  He got hold of him.  And there was this lion, cringing in front of the king of the jungle.  And the jungle lion said to him, “What are you doing here?”

And the other lion said, “Have mercy on me.  Don’t eat me.  Have mercy on me.”  But the king of the forest dragged him away saying “Come on with me.”  And he took him to a lake and he said, “Look.”  So, the lion who thought he was a sheep looked and for the first time he saw his reflection.  He saw his image.  Then he looked at the jungle lion, and he looked in the water again, and he let out a mighty roar.  He was never a sheep again.  It took only one minute.

Source | Anthony de MelloRediscovering Life. Pages 124-125

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • How tragic it is to live our lives with less than our fullest potential explored and invested!
  • What is still holding your “mighty roar” trapped within?  What is it going to take to give birth to lion in you?