Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do You Do This?

There once was a woman who had two sons. The first son was a farmer and the second was a brick maker. During the rainy season, she lamented and cried because the brick maker couldn’t make his bricks. During the dry season, she complained and worried that her son’s crops would dry up and burn. Every day she would be worried about one son or the other. 

One day a wise old monk came to town. The worried woman asked the wise monk how she could find peace and happiness when each day she was worried about one of her sons. The wise monk said, “On the days of rain, rejoice! For your son’s crops are being blessed with water to yield a plentiful harvest! On the days of sun, rejoice! For the heat of the sun is baking down on your son’s bricks, allowing him to be more productive in his brick-making business.” From that day forward, the woman was happy every day. (This is the retelling of an old Buddhist tale.)

Lesson 6:

What you focus on affects your level of happiness or misery. 

Start to evaluate the nature of the things you talk and think about. See if you can notice when you are focusing on negative life situations or worries. When we pay too much attention to things that are upsetting, and usually out of our control, we are upsetting ourselves for no reason. This is an awareness exercise. You don’t need to change your habits of thinking at this time; just become aware that what you focus on affects your level of happiness or misery.  As time goes on, and your awareness grows, you will be able to switch your attention onto the positive aspects of life, instead of indulging your attention on upsetting things in life.  The more you stay positive, the happier you will feel.  

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