Thursday, March 20, 2014

till the cows come home, or don't

Today is the 79th day of the year.

Meditation Number 79 in Your True Home: the everyday wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh is titled "Releasing Our Cows." It relates a story of the Buddha. A farmer comes upon the Buddha and his followers sitting in the forest. The peasant inquires about some cows he has lost. The farmer is distressed. He can't find his cows.

"When the farmer had gone, the Buddha turned to his monks, smiled, and said, 'Dear friends, you should be veryhappy. You don't have any cows to lose.' "

This struck me. I struggle with this. As a matter of fact, I am missing some cherished items. I lost them a few weeks ago. I value them. It was (is?) driving me crazy. I've inquired at places where I had been, even though I know I neurotically check for my belongings upon leaving, say, a coffee shop. I've searched pockets and notebooks and my car and nooks and crannies and pants and shirts and coats and jackets and sheets and floors and bureaus and desks and bathrobe and pajamas and drawers and street and sidewalks and pockets and pockets and tables and chairs over and over and over again, and then did it again.

I can't find them.

I've lost my cows.

And this does not even talk about my real "cows."


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