SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A story~~The Treasure we Hold~~

Thich Nhat Hahn

A beautiful book called A pebble for my Pocket by Thich Nhat Hahn.
It holds some valuable thoughts and stories that we can share with our children. In fact it is meant to be read by kids. As it explores mindfulness and meditation. It also helps children observe the world around them and experience the gift that nature bestows on us.

I picked out a story from this book, for our Ladies club event( a farewell once again!).

A rich man is in despair with his lazy son. He tries to tell him to change his ways and also tells him to hone a talent to help him in his life. Yet the son does not heed his father's word. The father is not one to let things rest, after much thought he calls his tailor and asks him to stitch a coat lined with fur for his son. Once ready, he hands this coat to his son and says that whatever is lost or taken away from him the son should ensure that he does not loose nor give away this coat. The son is amused but accepts his father's request.
As expected the father passes on, and the son is not mindful of his wealth, squanders it away and so looses all his possessions and friends. Destitute and desolate he wanders from place to place, not knowing which way to go or what to do. One night he reaches the brink of despair and lying under a tree he contemplates death. Tossing and turning he is not comfortable as he feels something poking his rib cage. He looks around, clears the ground; yet, that something keeps poking him.
He feels inside his fur lined coat. Yes! the same coat his father had asked him to preserve and the only possession he had retained. To his amazement he tears the coat to find a shining gem in his hands. A treasure that he now vows to safe guard and cherish and not squander. He then goes on to use the gem and live his life wisely and compassionately.

This gem stands for all the treasures we hold in our hands and that surround us. In Buddhism they perceive a world studded with gems, called Darmakaya. It tells and shows us the jewel studded world around us, the beautiful blue sky, the green grass and the deep waters.
The story asks us to acknowledge and be mindful of what we have and not despair at what is lost.
I see it this way too: Why did the son find the jewel when he hit rock bottom and not before? Surely it is when we experience the very lows that we seek ways to come up.Life has cycles of Up and Down, do not deny the lows, but use it to find ways to rediscover the treasures in your life.

I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed reading it and sharing it with you.