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
Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman waiting to cross.
Scared of the current, the young women asked if one of the monks could carry her across.
One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank.
She thanked him and then departed.
As the monks continued on their journey, the other monk become obsessed and preoccupied with his own thoughts. Unable to hold his silence any longer he spoke out.
“Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any and all contact with women, but you picked that young women up and onto your shoulders then carried her across the river, breaking this most sacred rule”
“Brother,” the second monk calmly replied, “this happened many many miles back, it was I who carried the young women and it was I who placed her down on the other side, over an hour ago. So why, brother, are you still carrying her?
Moral of the story
We all can become obsessed with thoughts running around in our minds, letting Go is easy to say but sometimes seems so difficult to do. To master this vital skill for happiness requires practice and training of the mind. Seeing how we naturally Let Go of sense impressions that have no interest in helps us see the skills needed to truly Let Go.
Meditation is about observing or watching the minds function and how each action has an equal an opposite reaction, seeing this dance of consciousness is humanities true purpose to living a fully satisfying life without the need for constantly more!
Once upon a time there was a rich man living in Benares, in northern India. He had a son who was intelligent, curious and eager to learn. Even though he was only seven years old, he was determined to find out what is really valuable.
One day the little boy asked his father, “What are the ways to gain the most valuable things in life?”
His father said, “Only worthy ways lead to worthwhile goals. These are the six worthy ways:
Keep yourself healthy and fit
Be wholesome in every way
Listen to those with more experience
Learn from those with more knowledge
Live according to Truth
Act with sincerity, not just energy.
The boy paid close attention to his father’s words. He tried hard to practice these ways from then on.
As he grew up and became wise, he realized that the six worthy ways, and the most valuable things in life, could not be separated.
Moral: A serious question deserves a serious answer
Once a very long time ago there lived a Hermit Monk, he preferred to spend his time well away from the trappings of society and instead sought seclusion within nature to deepen his meditation practice. He would still visit the local village early each morning to collect his alms food and this had been the way our Monk lived for many years.
One fine afternoon, after our Monk had received his alms food he found his usual meditation cushion and began to be aware of his breathing and started to practice Samadhi Meditation. His concentration became so great our Monk sat for a very long time and didn’t notice the large snake coming closer and closer. Our Monk was absorbed with his one pointed concentration that he had become as still as a tree.
The large snake didn’t even notice the silent and still Monk who was meditating as still as a tree, all he noticed was a nice warm sleeping spot in those Monks robes all draped around his crossed legs, and in the sunshine, our snake snuggled into the Monks lap and fell fast asleep.
An hour or so passed like this with our Monk in deep mediative concentration and our snake fast asleep on his lap, until slowly the Monk returned his concentration to his surroundings and began to become aware of an unusual weight in his lap. You can imagine the surprise of the Monk as he glanced down into his lap. As bold as brass a very large snake had indeed curled up in his lap and fallen fast asleep.
Fear grasped our Monk who instantly closed his eyes and started meditating again. He calmed himself and remembered his training, all things are impermanent and forever changing, and knew without a doubt the snake would move on again, and so he stayed in Meditation
But our snake was very comfortable and didn’t want to move, he stayed where he was fast asleep. This went on for many days until even the villagers had started to notice the absence of their Monk and decided to pay him a visit.
The villagers came with food and offerings and as they approached they noticed the Monk sat silently in Meditation, they were all so absorbed with the serenity of the Monk and his stillness that they didn’t notice the snake curled up fast asleep in his lap. Slowly each villager bowed with respect to the meditating monk and left their offerings and our monk to his meditation.
Life went on like this for many many days. Our Monk out of fear in a deep mediative concentration, our snake fast asleep on his lap all comfortable as can be, and the villagers coming each and every day to offer food.
Finally our snake found himself hungry and so uncurled himself from the Monks lap, stretched his biggest stretch he went off in search. Our Monk also slowly came out of meditation but something had changed deep within, he had sat for many days in complete absorption of his mind and saw as clear as a mountain lake the processes within our minds that cause humanity so much pain and suffering, he had attained enlightenment.
He had experienced for himself the true impermanence of all phenomena and the attachment to everything which causes our sufferings. As our monk slowly opened his eyes a great sense of loving kindness filled his heart, he noticed all the offerings from the local villagers and was compelled with compassion to help there sufferings. He packed his small bag an started the walk to the village where he stayed and taught for the rest of his life, the root causes of our sufferings and the way to enlightenment.
Sometimes Fear can compel us to do some remarkable things but also has the power to cripple our thinking. Everyone of us has experienced fear in our lives and it is how we move forward not allowing that fear to consume our thinking that is the key. Fear is a natural response to changeable and uncertain situations. To attach to that fear and live life within her is not a natural response, this is overthinking. If fear is having a crippling effect on your decision making, we are overthinking life and need to find a way to relax. Meditation helps to calm the mind and settle the overthinking. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Once upon a time, an Enlightenment Being was born into a rich and powerful family. When he grew up he became dissatisfied with the ordinary pleasures of the world and so gave up his former lifestyle, including his wealth and position. He went to the foothills of the Himalayas to became a holy man in the search for enlightenment.
On this fine day in question our holy man ran out of salt. He decided to go and collect alms, while our walking he came upon a caravan of people and horses and decided to join with it for part of his journey. In the evening they all stopped and made camp.
The holy man began walking at the foot of a big nearby tree. He concentrated his mind into meditation until he entered a high mental state. He remained in that state throughout the night, while continuing to walk.
Meanwhile, bandits meaning to do no good surrounded the campsite. They had waited until after supper, when everyone had settled down for the night. But before they could attack, they noticed the holy man. They said to each other, “That man must be the guard on security. If he sees us, he’ll warn the rest. So let’s wait until he falls asleep, and then do our robbing and looting!”
What the bandits didn’t know was that the holy man was so deep in meditation that he didn’t notice them at all — or anything else for that matter! So they kept waiting for him to fall asleep. And he just kept walking and walking and walking — until the light of dawn finally began to appear. Only then was he finished meditating.
Having had no chance to rob the caravan, the bandits threw down their weapons in frustration. They shouted, “Hey you in the caravan! If your security guard hadn’t stayed up all night, walking under that tree, we would have robbed you all! You should reward him well!” With that they left in search of someone else to rob.
When it became light the people in the caravan saw the clubs and stones left behind by the bandits. Trembling with fear, they went over to the holy man. They greeted him respectfully and asked if he had seen the bandits. “Yes, this morning I did,” he said.
“Weren’t you scared?” they asked. “No,” said the Enlightenment Being, “the sight of bandits is only frightening to the rich. But I’m not a rich man. I own nothing of any value to robbers. So why should I be afraid of them? I have no anxiety in a village, and no fear in the forest. Possessing only loving-kindness and compassion, I follow the straight path leading to Truth.”
In this manner he preached the way of fearlessness to the lucky people of the caravan. His words made them feel peaceful, and they honored him.
After a long life developing the Four Heavenly States of Mind, he died and was reborn in a high heaven world.
Moral: Sometimes it pays to have a holy man around
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.