Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Hang On Tightly, Let Go Lightly

In ancient Japan, there once lived a solitary monk in a monastery high atop a mountain. One day a woman in the town below become pregnant by a local fisherman. Wanting to protect her friend, she accused the monk of the deed. Following the baby’s birth, the villages to him to the monk and said, “Here! It was you who did this. You must now become responsible for the child.”. After a short pause, the monk simply bowed his head and said, “Ah, so.”

Although he had been used to living alone, the monk soon developed a fondness for his new companion and become a good parent to him. One day the boy’s mother become gravely ill. As she lay dying, she confessed to the wrong she had done. Once more, the townspeople took the long walk up the mountain and spoke to the monk. “A mistake has been made. You are not the real father of the child. Although you have dutifully cared for him all these years, now  you must give him up.” After a moment of reflection the monk bowed and replied, “Ah, so.”

Our lives are constantly changing. People and things come and go. All situations that we create are only temporary. By viewing life from this larger perspective, our monastic friend was able to face both loss and gain with peace and tranquillity. It is not always easy to be detached, especially when we must release a situation or a person we hate. But the new always rises to replace the old. And sooner or later you toll will arrive at the point where you, too, can smile and serenely say, “Ah, so.”