A zen master and a student were in the kitchen preparing tea. The student was starting the fire in the wood burning stove. The zen master was laying out the cups, the mat and the tea. Awaiting for the fire to heat up the stove, the student asked. “Master, I have a hard time controlling my thoughts.”
“How so?” Asked the zen master.
“I am unsure, sometimes I have control of my thoughts and sometimes I do not.” The student replied.
Th zen master walked over to the stove as the student placed a pot of water over the fire. “Your mind is like this water,” the zen master stated. “When you are calm, at rest or asleep, the water is calm and still. When your active it will be as the flame is under the pot of water, causing your mind to churn like the water when it boils.” The water in the pot began to show signs of heating up as steam started to rise and small bubbles began to form.
“And how do I control it?” The student asked.
The zen master took the pot away from the flame. “Like this water, now that it is no longer over the flame, it will settle back down and be still.” The zen master said. “When you are angry or upset, the mind boils. Simply sit and allow the mind to calm back down, like this pot of water no longer over the flame.” The zen master took the pot and carried it to the table where he poured it into two cups that were ready with tea.
“And what if my thoughts are of a woman. I can not control these feelings?” The student said shyly. The zen master looked at the student curiously.
“Would you like sugar in your tea?” The zen master asked.
“Yes, please,” the student replied. The zen master added sugar to the students cup of tea.
“Will you drink this tea immediately or will you allow it to cool before putting the cup to your lips?” The zen master asked.
“I will allow the tea to cool of course,” the student stated.
“Some things are to hot to handle and or sip, it is best if you allow them to cool off before engaging in them. This is called knowledge. It is the same with passion, you must have the patience and knowledge to allow such a passionate topic to cool off before engaging in such thoughts. Then as the water or thoughts have cooled off a bit, partake in it carefully.” The zen master smiled as he took a drink of his tea.
(this story (ideally) is from the NaNoWriMo story I have been writing called; The House of Zen)
moral: the mind is like water. When the mind is boiling, sit down and cool off before making any rash decisions. Allow the mind to calm down and emotions to cool off, then clarity and calmness will come with patience.
behind closed eyes
I am at ease
there I find tranquility
and when they are open
I find I generate energy
to focus on this
where my eyes look at
I close my eyes
and draw a breath
I find my mind
curls into a peaceful rest
now I know what I must do
find a way to see
while my mind
remains in a peaceful glow
like when my eyes
are tightly closed
have a zen filled day