Have you ever heard the story (here’s a link) of the man whose horse runs away. The villagers say how bad it is, and the man replies, “Maybe, maybe not.” When the horse comes back, it brings three wild horses with it. What good fortune, the man is told, but he’s not convinced. His son is training the horses and has his leg broken. Oh, how terrible, the villagers say. Again, the man does not necessarily agree. When the emperor is looking to conscript men for his army, the son doesn’t have to go as his leg is broken – once again, it turns out that maybe it was a good thing he broke it.
The point of this tale is to illustrate that we shouldn’t judge what happens in our lives as good or bad. We don’t usually understand why things happen in our lives. Whether you believe in fate, or luck, or that we plan our lives before we are born into these bodies of ours, we can’t always see the big picture.
A small example of how this can happen….
Yesterday I did the shopping with my family and one of the boys picked out three packs of soycheese from the refrigerator at the health food store. After I arrived home, I noticed one was not vacuum sealed properly and in fact had green mould growing on it.
When WorldTraveller and I went out for a driving lesson this morning, we stopped by the store to exchange the mouldy one for a fresh one. While there, the woman at the till gave me a Sunday paper, which was free (they’re trying to attract new subscribers again). When I read it, I noticed an article that said that the trail we were planning to walk this afternoon was closed. Two mother bears and their cubs have taken up residence, no doubt attracted by the spawning salmon and wild berries.
So a block of mouldy cheese saved me a wasted drive!
I love what I’m learning with all my reading, discussion and contemplation about Zen and Buddhism. It’s all good. I am becoming less judgmental (definitely a work-in-progress), more mindful, more relaxed. Much better!