A sage sat reading, book in hand, sitting close to a candle’s glow. He pushed his glasses up tightly on his nose for it tend to work its way down toward the tip of his nose with time. A student sat next to him for he too was reading. The student broke the silence, asking, “It says here,” referring to the literature he was reading, “that clarity comes when the mind is cleansed. What does this mean?”
The sage graciously lowered the book he held, laying it in his lap. He the took his glasses from his face and handed them to the student. “Look through the glasses into the light. What do you see?” He asked.
“These apparently need to be cleaned.” The student replied while peering through the lens. The sage took the glasses from the student and wiped the lenses with the flaps of his sleeves and handed them back to the student.
“Now look,” the old sage commanded.
“They are clean,” he replied.
“Clarity comes when the mind is cleansed,” the sage stated. “There will be times when your day becomes over-whelming and your thoughts are clouded by your emotions. It may appear that there are no solutions to the problem you may be faced with. You may go to bed with your problem unsolved and then fall asleep. The next day you find a solution to your problem because your mind has been cleansed and there is clarity in your life. Do you understand this?” The sage asked.
“Yes,” the student replied. “But wouldn’t meditation be a way to clear your thoughts and find clarity?”
“Have you ever cooked fish and have the grease splatter upon you?”
“Yes,” the student answered.
“Then the grease gets upon the glass of the glasses and wiping only smears the grease upon the glasses and there is even a bigger mess and less clarity.” The sage stated.
“So, sleep is the only way to clear the mind?” The student asked.
“The sage leaned forward and blew out the candle. “What..” The student murmured. The sage sat quietly for a few moments then spoke.
“Do you hear your heart beating and the sound of your breath?” The sage asked.
The student was silent for a few moments then responded, “Yes.”
The sage struck a match and lit the candle, “Sometimes all we need to do is go back to the basics of life, breathing and existing to clear our minds enough to have clarity. Remember, zen is the state of being, everything else is our emotions, feelings, strife, conditions, elements and environment. The flakes upon our glasses in life. We must wipe them clean now and again, knowing they will be dirtied again, such is life, such is the ying and yang. You can not have clean without dirt and you can not have clarity without ambiguity.”
“What is ambiguity?” The student asked.
“Look it up,” The sage answered, handing the student a dictionary. “Then you will have clarity on what this word means.”
(moral: sometimes our lives become unclear, answers to problems elude us. Ever heard the phrase; let me sleep on it? This is sound advice. Other times when your not thinking about the problem at all the solution will ‘pop’ in your head. The mind can only focus on one thing at a time (you can not think of two things at the exact same time; try it!). Usually when the mind has been calmed and emotions wiped clean from the soul there is clarity.)
- Uncertainty or in-exactness of meaning in language
- A lack of decisiveness or commitment resulting from a failure to make a choice between alternatives
wishing you a day of clarity