The Parable of the Empty Boat….

~ Author Unknown

A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation. After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own. With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation. But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake. At that moment, the monk achieves self-realization, and understands that the anger is within him; it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him. From then on, whenever he comes across someone who irritates him or provokes him to anger, he reminds himself, “The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.

More often than not, we allow outside circumstances to dictate our frame of mind, when the fact is that the road to happiness and contentment lies within us…

May I ever practice self-control,
May I learn to be patient and kind;
May I meet my problems with wisdom;
If I do, I will have peace of mind.

May I keep my temper every day;
May I be honest and fair and brave;
May calmness cover me, as a cloak,
That my own self-respect I may save.

When I give way to anger and fear,
And when to passions I am a slave,
I am harming my body and soul
That my God, in His love, to me gave.

~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham,
“When I Am Master of My Soul” (1940s)

This list might be hard to implement, but it’s certainly worth trying…maybe reading it once every few days, if not everyday, might go a long way in conditioning our thought process the right way…

“The cyclone derives its powers from a calm centre. So does a person.”

~Norman Vincent Peale

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