Surprise, surprise, here’s a story for you.
The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a village in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. One day the teenage daughter of his neighbour became pregnant.
When she was questioned by her angry parents, she said that Hakuin, the Zen Master was the father.
Cue the screaming, shouting, accusations, bottle throwing etc. No that didn’t really happen but you get the idea? There was lots of drama.
When the parents said he must confess that he is the father, all he replied was, “Is that so?”
Of course news of the scandal spread throughout the village and beyond. The Zen Master lost his reputation and his clients. This did not trouble him, he remained unmoved.
When the child was born the parents of the girl brought the child to him and said, “You are the father, you must look after him.”
The Zen Master took loving care of the child.
A year later, the young girl remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the boy that worked at the butcher shop.
Embarrassed and in great distress they went to Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry, we have to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.”
“Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby back to them.
What is the moral of this story?
The Zen Master did not become a participant in the drama. It did not affect him.
How did he do this?
To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized and he is nobody’s victim. He did not resist what happened because if you do, you are at the mercy of what happens and the world will determine your happiness or unhappiness.
By only responding to what the present moment requires, the baby is well looked after and bad turns in to good. He lets go of the baby when it is time to do so.
So why on earth am I telling you this story?
Because friends, for some, the festive season is stressful and full of drama. It causes great anxiety. Perhaps it’s because extended family is together and there are triggers and old hurts that come to the fore, perhaps it’s because there’s too much alcohol and loose lips start lashing or perhaps it’s because someone got irritated in the moment and exploded.
Whatever it is, let us proceed in peace and harmony. Let us be at ease. Let us relax and let us have fun.
Let us reply with, “Is that so?”
On that note let me say that I’m unplugging for the month of December and “Is that so?” will be my mantra.
I will be celebrating my birthday, celebrating Christmas and also celebrating the New Year.
I will be slowing down and resting and rejuvenating.
I will also be playing and creating and writing.
There will be plenty of stuff cooking in the kitchen.
Don’t worry, come January I’ll be back with so much more.
As always, I wish you and your families plenty of relaxation, laughter and fun. May you all be at peace and experience much joy.
May love and blessings hug you
Your friend and wellbeing bestie,