An old Sufi story:
A man lost a valuable ring. He prayed for its return, promising that he would give half the value of the ring to charity if he got it back. When he finished his prayer, he opened his eyes, and saw the ring in front of his face. He thought — never mind God, I found it myself!
How often do we bargain with our prayers, asking our friends and family for help, the local market, our own self image? How often do our requests get answered and then we forget our part of the deal? And what happens when we bargain and we don’t get a response or the answer is no?
I wrote this old sufi story in a journal dated back in 2006. The journal was titled “Yoga Thoughts,” and I wrote a couple of entries. Underneath this story, I wrote GO DEEPER.
What an interesting phrase to write without further exploration. What did I mean back then and what does it mean for me now? I was in a different place 8 years ago for sure and so I could guess my reasons, but I’m more interested in this moment.
What happens when I pray, ask, reach out without bargaining? Without giving anything in return? How much space opens up when I go deeper and realize that the asking is enough just as the giving is enough, and that when we bargain with our dreams, we end up giving them away…