What we think of as wisdom, is often a clarity of perspective.
In Judith Lasater’s book Living Your Yoga, she shares a Zen story that really shifted how I saw things. Here it is:
One day, a man is in his rowboat on a lake, and it begins to get foggy. Through the fog, he sees another boat coming down the towards him. The boat is coming right toward him, faster and faster.
He starts to shout out, but the boat keeps coming and smashes right into him. The man gets angry and strains to see who was so thoughtless and stupid! And then he sees that the other boat was empty. His anger collapses in that moment.
This is a classic story on our whole life situation…
There are a lot of empty boats out there.
There are a lot of angry people feeling like victims.
Just as an empty boat that rams into us isn’t targeting us, so too, people who act unkindly are often driven along by the unconscious pain inside of them.
By pausing and stepping back, we can find our middle ground and clarity of perspective.
Mantra for Today: “The rowboat is empty”