Who Knows?

A Chinese farmer lived with his son who helped him work the fields.  One day their only horse ran away.

All their neighbors came over and said, “What bad luck you have that your only horse ran away.”

The farmer replied, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows.”

Two weeks later, the horse returned with a herd of wild horses.  The neighbors returned and said, “What good luck you have that your horse returned with lots of horses.”

The farmer replied, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows.”

Two weeks later, while the son was breaking in a wild horse, he fell off of the horse and broke his leg badly.  Once again the neighbors said, “What bad luck you have since you can’t work the fields without your son.”

The farmer replied, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows.”

Two weeks later, a war broke out.  The army conscripted every young man in the village, except for the farmer’s son because he had a broken leg.  The neighbors said, “What good luck you have.”

The farmer replied, as calmly as always, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows.” (another incredible zen story)

 

My hope each day is to be like the farmer, detached from the idea of luck, from what’s good and bad.  The only constant in life is change, and our suffering comes when we fight the change.  The farmer didn’t react to the change in a good or bad way.  He understood that he couldn’t know if a bad situation was bad luck or if any good situation was good luck–it just was what it was.

There is something really present moment/awake/conscious about living your life without too much rehashing and labeling.  I think we title a moment that has passed as good or bad because good feels good and bad feels bad.  When we “un-cling” our life from these titles and get beyond these sensations with a sense of calm, life gets to flow in a way beyond the suffering and the joy—free from the worry of “this is too good to be true” or “when will my luck change.”

Ana, from Inside the River, has that quality, intuitively.  I didn’t overtly write her that way, but I hope readers of the book will imagine her as the farmer, calmly living in the moments of her life (the joy and suffering) without drowning in them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. I wish you were free from the worry of “this is too good to be true” or “when will my luck change” as it regards to us!! You are the Zen in my life. truly. Just another one of the immeasurable reasons I love you!

    Steven M. Posner

    EASTERN FINDINGS CORP.

    _____

    Liked by 1 person

I would love to know your thoughts...thanks for sharing!

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