Peace Of Mind

Wise ManOnce a wise man was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were travelling, they came upon a lake. They stopped there and the wise man beckoned to one of his followers, a particularly eager-to-please young man. He said, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The follower eagerly ran to the lake. When he reached it, he saw people washing clothes and a bullock cart crossing through the lake. As a result, the water was muddy and cloudy. The follower tried to get everyone out of the lake, but no one would listen to him. He grew frustrated and went back to the wise man. Feeling ashamed, he told him, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, again the wise man asked the same follower to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The follower obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be drunk. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to the wise man.

The wise man looked at the water, and then he looked at the follower and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down by itself, and you got clear water! Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

I find that often the best reaction to anger or frustration is patience. There’s something to be said for the old adage, “Take a deep breath and count to 10.”

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