My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.
“You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said.
“Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.”
That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world.
We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life.
The Master was sitting by a pond one day when a young man, a troubled look upon his face, approached him. “Much has gone wrong, Master,” he said. “and everything I do makes things worse.”
“Please sit down,” the Master invited, patting the ground next to him, and the young man sat down.
“Now, please find a small stone and throw it into the pond.” said the Master. Searching around him, the young man grabbed a pebble and threw it as far as he could.
“Tell me what you see,” the Master instructed. Straining his eyes to not miss a single detail, the man looked at the water’s surface. “I see ripples.”
“Where did the ripples come from?”
“From the pebble I threw in the pond, Master.”
“Please reach your hand into the water and stop the ripples,” the Master asked. The young man stuck his hand in the water as a ripple neared.
“Were you able to stop the ripples with your hands?” the Master asked.
“No, of course not. It only caused more.”
“Could you have stopped the ripples, then?”
“What if you had stopped the pebble from entering the water to begin with?” The Master looked deeply into the young man’s eyes, as a stone into water. “Next time you are unhappy with your life, catch the stone before it hits the water. Do not spend time trying to undo what you have done. Rather, change what you are going to do before you do it.”
have a zen filled day