Teachings on Mindfulness & Meditation through Inspirational Short Stories & Motivational Quotes from a real travelling Vanlife Monk affiliated to No Tribe, Religion or Society always searching for Spiritual Enlightenment
I walk down the street, there’s a deep hole in the road, I fall in, I’m lost, I’m hopeless, it’s not my fault and it takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street, there’s a deep hole in the road, I pretend I don’t see it, I fall in again, I can’t believe I’m in the same place, it’s still not my fault and it still takes a long time to find a way out
I walk down the same street, there’s a deep hole in the road, I see it’s there but I fall in anyway, it’s a habit, my eyes are open and I immediately see where I am, it is all my own fault, I find a way out immediately.
I walk down the same street, there’s a deep hole in the road, I walk around it.
Once there lived a sad and lonely Horse, it was a long time ago the owner died and now no one visited our horse anymore. He so desperately wanted company, to join the other horses he could hear in the distance, but his field was fenced and there was no escape. He would spend his days wandering sadly around the field eating the tastiest bits of grass, until one day when everything would change.
On that fateful day, while sampling a particularly tasty patch of grass a Butterfly came fluttering in and landed on a dandelion next to our Horse.
“Hello beautiful Horse” said the Butterfly
Surprised and delighted that the Butterfly could talk the Horse began telling the Butterfly all his worries
“You see, said the Horse “no one comes to visit anymore and I’m desperately lonely, trapped in this field”
“Oh I see” said the Butterfly “that’s terrible you feel this way”
Now it was just lucky for our Horse, that fine morning, that this little Butterfly was fluttering through the field. Some may even say a coincidence that the Butterfly did land on just that exact dandelion next to our Horse. For our Butterfly was a wise and gentle soul and understood instantly our Horses worry and pain.
“It’s sad Horse but you have lost your way”
“How do you mean little Butterfly” asked the Horse
“You are magnificent, strong and independent, but have forgotten who you are”
“I know I’m a Horse little Butterfly, I haven’t forgotten”
But with that said the Butterfly fluttered off to another flower on the other side of the field. Our Horse started to follow and began thinking out loud,
“What did the Butterfly mean I’ve forgotten who I am? I am a Horse, I don’t get it.”
Soon he was where the little Butterfly had landed again and asked
“Little Butterfly I’m confused, can you explain further”
“Of course” kindly replied the Butterfly “you have been stuck for a long time within this field, lonely and desperate for company, slowly over time this has become your normal, then gradually your have taken this normal to be who you are!”
“That sounds deep little Butterfly” said the Horse “How do you mean”
“We all place prisons within our own minds, these prisons stop us from achieving our dreams, your life alone in this field has now become your prison, you have forgotten your a Horse.”
And with this the little Butterfly fluttered off to another flower
“Oh I’m still confused” thought the Horse as he wandered over to where the Butterfly had once again settled “what prison in my mind?”
Soon our Horse was once again where the Butterfly had landed and asked her to explain more
“I would like to tell you a little story to help explain” said the little Butterfly
“Oh I like Stories” replied the Horse
“Then I shall begin.
The common house flea has the ability to jump 200 times it’s own height, but if you place a glass cup over the flea something interesting happens. When the flea now jumps he keeps hitting his head on the bottom of the glass cup, now his glass roof. After a few jumps the flea realises what’s happening and will adjust his jumping height accordingly. The flea now jumps to just under this new glass roof. When you remove the glass our poor flea is now conditioned into jumping at this new height. He has learnt from experience that if he jumps higher it hurts.
This is the prison of our own minds, we all create them and yours Horse is this field, you have forgotten your a Horse and what a horse does.”
But with this last comment the Butterfly flew out of sight and our Horse was left alone in his field once again.
For a moment our Horse felt sad he was left alone again, but gradually as he was thinking about what the little Butterfly had said he realised he was a Horse
“I am a Horse and horses run and jump and play, I had forgotten who I was, I really had made my own prison in my mind, this field with its fence around had become my prison, but I’m a Horse and Horse’s run and jump and play”
And with this our Horse ran as fast as his legs could take him straight at the fence, in one great jump he cleared it and landed on the other side, he never even glanced back, he just kept running and running to the sounds of the other horses in the distance, our Horse was now free.
We have all created prisons within our own minds, anywhere you don’t want to be is like a prison, even in the lap of luxury one can feel poor and in a crowd, lonely. To see these prisons we have created it helps if we practice meditation, observing the mind, its interaction and games it plays as it encounters the world through our senses, When we can see, truly see, the prisons we have created and there unwholesome qualities we naturally let go, we move forward and escape our prisons.
This weeks Motivational and Inspirational Short Story
“It Is In Your Hands”
A young man caught a small bird, and held it behind his back. He then asked, “
“Master, is the bird I hold in my hands alive or dead.”
The boy thought this was a grand opportunity to play a trick on the old man.
If the master answered “dead”, it would be let loose into the air.
If the master answered “alive”, he would simply wring its neck.
The master spoke,
“The answer is in your hands”.
We all have the power within our own hands, this story is just a simple demonstration to prove that point. At any given moment we can be confronted with peoples opinions, others anger, frustrations or temptations within our life, it is completely in our own hands if we surrender our power, we can stay positive and cheerful in the midst of chaos it is our choice, today I choose a different way.
During the time of the Buddha there lived a very rich lady who owned a large estate. When she became old she decided to split and distribute the estate and wealth amongst her children, giving them a chance to benefit from the money while still having the energy of youth.
After receiving the money the children didn’t care much about their mother anymore, they had what they wanted. And as so poor Sonā Theri was not treated well in the houses of her sons and daughters, and became somewhat distressed.
When Sonā Theri was around 90 years old her poverty and suffering had become so great that some kindly neighbours had her ordained as a nun at the local Buddhist monastery. At least this way she would be looked after.
It was customary for the nuns in this monastery to go out early every morning on their alms round collecting food from the local villagers. Every nun went, all except for poor Sonā Theri, she was considered to old and weak to accompany the others nuns, instead she was tasked with filling all the water pots with drinking water and hot water for washing hands and feet, ready for the nuns return.
But Sonā Theri was so old and weak, too carry the water she had to use a small pot and walk from the water well, collect the water, then walk back to the kitchen, pour the water into a pot and repeat. As she worked she got very tired, but she didn’t rest. She forced herself to do as was asked of her and kept going, until finally her body collapsed with complete exhaustion.
She wasn’t pretending she really was finished and unable to get up. Sonā Theri lay thinking to herself, there is more water to be carried and I haven’t prepared the hot water yet, but I can’t get up, what to do. She had been given the teachings of the Buddha and decided that she would take up an object of meditation and began following her breath. She fixed her attention firmly and unshakable on her breath, as she lay there with great concentration she penetrated the illusions of mind and made an end to her suffering.
As she lay there full of peace, bliss and equanimity, the other nuns returned from their alms round but couldn’t find Sonā Theri anywhere. Eventually she was found lying between the water pots, the other nuns gathered to scold her.
“she’s not filled the water or hot water yet, she is so lazy she just lays down to sleep”
Sonā Theri just lay there in complete bliss, the nuns who were scolding were of course still unenlightened with there blaming minds. For Sonā Theri she had attained to Arahantship, right there while she was unable to get up, due to her one pointed concentration, she attained the path to liberation.
With one last immense surge energy and concentration Sonā Theri rose and finished her task, in complete bliss and harmony, she bowed to the nuns and went and sat under the Bodhi tree in meditation and prepared to pass away.
she was found dead the next morning, still in her meditation position, it was only then did the other nuns realised there mistake, a stupa was built to house her remains, an honour only bestowed on enlightened masters.
It was Sonā Theri’s attitude and determination to stay with her chosen meditative object, her breath, never wavering and never faulting, she knew her body was finished and so she gave everything she had of her mind.
We have all learnt meditation and some of us practiced very hard, but I ask you to tell me truthfully have you practiced with such determination as Sonā Theri, have you put into practice what you have learnt with such gusto and steadfast determination that you have managed a whole 24hrs of mindful awareness?
Sonā Theri was an old lady on her last legs, how long do you think it would take you, half her age and being fit and healthy to fulfil spiritual awakening? I know if you gave it your all you too could also find your way out of suffering.
Once upon a time, there were two very good friends who lived together in the shade of a rock. Strange as it may seem, one was a lion and one was a tiger. They had met when they were too young to know the difference between lions and tigers. So they did not think their friendship was at all unusual. Besides, it was a peaceful part of the mountains, possibly due to the influence of a gentle forest monk who lived nearby. He was a hermit, one who lives far away from other people.
For some unknown reason, one day the two friends got into a silly argument. The tiger said, “Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon wanes from full to new!” The lion said, “Where did you hear such nonsense? Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon waxes from new to full!”
The argument got stronger and stronger. Neither could convince the other. They could not reach any conclusion to resolve the growing dispute. They even started calling each other names! Fearing for their friendship, they decided to go ask the learned forest monk, who would surely know about such things.
Visiting the peaceful hermit, the lion and tiger bowed respectfully and put their question to him. The friendly monk thought for a while and then gave his answer. “It can be cold in any phase of the moon, from new to full and back to new again. It is the wind that brings the cold, whether from west or north or east. Therefore, in a way, you are both right! And neither of you is defeated by the other. The most important thing is to live without conflict, to remain united. Unity is best by all means.”
The lion and tiger thanked the wise hermit. They were happy to still be friends
Anxiety can be a crippling disease of mind, it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension of something yet to come and in extreme cases is devastating to your life.
Anxiety disorders can cause your heart rate to rise, heart palpitations, and chest pain. You may also be at increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
The 5 ways of Categorising Anxiety
According to the National Health Service from the United Kingdom Of Great Britain we generally put the effects of Anxiety into 5 categories, these are
Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Described as an excessive amount of worry, stress or anxiety which may include symptoms such as depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association Of America (ADAA) Generalised Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed as extreme worry about a variety of things which leads to continuous anxiety and lasts for a period of 6 months and longer.
Social Anxiety Disorder: This is the paralysing fear of social involvement and situations usually leaving the person suffering feeling alone, isolated and ashamed.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: OCD is an overwhelming sense to perform certain tasks a certain way over and over again. This experience of intrusive nature of thoughts can give rise to chronic stress.
Panic Disorder: Is characterised by unexpected and sometimes repeated episodes of intense fear, physical symptoms include but not limited too, chest pains, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, dizziness and or abdominal pain.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Stress caused after a dangerous and scary event. Example would be experiencing war, a deadly storm or almost drowning. This is known as Traumatic Stress and can lead to PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder
How to cope with Anxiety
There are many methods we can use to cope and indeed combat anxiety and it’s associated symptoms, here is a quick list that may help, it is by no means comprehensive and if you feel you know something which may help others please feel free to share. I will credit you and add your pearl of wisdom.
If you feel there is something left off this list, maybe you have an idea that may help others, then please feel free to add a comment below, I will credit you and add your pearl of wisdom to the list.