Why walking the talk is not as easy as waxing eloquent on deep Philosophies

For the last few days I’ve been focusing on learning wisdom from the wise Greek philosopherEpictetus, today I wrote a post on how to react (or how not to react) to insults, I received quite a positive feedback on the post & was pleased as punch with myself on having such deep thoughts. Among other things I said ‘we should not let people push our buttons, if they shout, let them, we should not shout back, etc etc…but come evening my hubby got mad at me over something trifle & spoke a little sharply to me, & the next moment I found myself paying his rudeness back in kind, I yelled for 2 mins & then suddenly recalled the wisdom from Epictetus, Buddha & Osho. I suddenly stopped in my tracks…this reminded me of a humorous story I had read sometime ago:

Su Dongpo , a famous Chinese poet, wrote the following poem to describe a state he had experienced in meditation:

I bow to the god among gods;
His hair-light illuminates the world.
Unmoved when the Eight Winds blow,
Upright I sit in a purple-golden lotus.

(The “eight winds ” in the poem referred to praise & ridicule, honor & disgrace, gain & loss, and pleasure & misery  – interpersonal forces of the material world that drive and influence the hearts of men. .

“He sent the poem to the Great Master Foyin , and the Master’s reply was two words: ‘Fart, fart.’ As soon as Su Dongpo saw the Great Master Foyin’s criticism, he couldn’t get it out of his mind, and he rushed across the Yangtze—he lived on the south side of the river and Great Master Foyin lived on the north side—to find the Master and scold him. He wanted to tell the Master that he had written an enlightened poem, and so how could the Master possibly have replied, ‘Fart, fart?’

“In fact, when Great Master Foyin criticized him, not only did Su Dongpo fart, he blazed forth and wanted to scorch Foyin to death. And so he rushed across the river and burst unannounced into the Master’s quarters and shouted, ‘How could you possibly scold someone and slander him that way by writing “fart, fart”?’

“Foyin replied, ‘Who was I slandering? You said that you were unmoved by the Eight Winds, but just by letting out two small farts I’ve blown you all the way across the Yangtze. And you still say that the Eight Winds don’t move you? You don’t have to talk about eight winds; just my two farts bounced you all the way up here.’

“Then Su Dongpo thought, ‘That’s right. I said that I’m unmoved by the Eight Winds, but two words have been enough to make me burn with anger.’ Realizing that he still didn’t have what it takes, he bowed to the Master and repented.

So while I was basking in my philosophical glory for last few days, a little thing disturbed me…but does that mean that we should simply stop trying to aim for serenity, naah that is not the case.

“Have you ever watched a stonecutter at work? He will hammer away at a rock for perhaps a 100 times without a crack showing in it. Then, on the 101st blow, it will split in two. It is not that blow alone which accomplished the result, but the 100 others that went before as well.”

So we should keep on trying & one day slowly but surely we’ll break our rocks & walk our talk.

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September 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Buddhism, Humor, Inspiration, Parables, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings, Teaching Stories, Wisdom.

One Comment

  1. Finding Happiness the Epictetus Way #7: Learning from Every Event & Person & Everything else Too!!! « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

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