June 28, 2011

Sogyal Rinpoche: The Solution is Very Simple.

“So simple that we can actually miss it.

It’s under our very noses. There’s quiet a comical Tibetan story about a man from a country village who traveled all the way to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, with a team of mules, twenty-two in all. For a Tibetan, Lhasa was an enormous town, and as soon as he saw the Potala palace he was absolutely mesmerized. He immediately started trying to count the windows, and got more and more excited. Finally he gathered his wits and looked around to check on his mules, but he could only see twenty-one. He panicked and started asking everyone he met, “Have you seen my mule?” Because he had come from a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, he was convinced that the sophisticated people of Lhasa must speak a different language. He thought they wouldn’t have a word for “mule.” So he tore up a handful of grass and took a piece of mule dung, and holding them out in front of him, he shouted, “Have you seen the thing that eats this and does this?” On and on he went, asking the same question. Finally somebody said, “But look! You’re sitting on one!” He’d forgotten he was actually riding one of them; the twenty-second mule was right underneath him all the time.

Sometimes the solution is like that, right under our very noses. All the raw materials are at our disposal. When we want to change, we begin by changing the environment of our mind. We can change the environment around us a little as well; we don’t have to renovate the entire house, but just a little bit of the décor, here and there. But it’s mainly our mind. And how we recognize our life. And what is precious here is to look into the teachings, look at our notes, listen to recordings, and then go over them and study them again and again.” ~from “Losing the Clouds, Gaining the Sky.” Excerpt by Sogyal Rinpoche

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