One of the most profound stories that my mother shared with me as a child (which I could not appreciate until I was older was an old story relating to Taoism about a wise farmer who had a wild horse gallop onto his farm. He had one beloved only son. One that he cherish beyond imagination. When the surrounding villagers saw this, they stated to him, “Wow! How lucky you are! Now your son can train himself to be a horse rider! We cannot believe your good fortune! But the wise farmer quietly muttered, “Let’s see what comes of this.” Later, while his son was on the horse, he fell off and broke his leg. The villagers now said to him, “Wow! How unlucky you are! You are really unfortunate!” But the wise farmer again quietly muttered, “Let’s see what comes of this.” Soon, there was a great war, and all the surrounding villagers had to sacrifice their sons to fight in the battle. None returned home alive. But the wise farmer, whose son had a broken leg, was spared because of the handicap.” And when the villagers again returned with congratulations, the wise farmer again replied, “Let’s see what comes of this.” So you see, you never know what one event will bring. If you quiet and still your mind, then you try to understand the mind of God, and you will not resist the wisdom of the universe as it unfolds. If you stay detached, then you will be spared of suffering due to the seeming ups and downs of your life, and you will remain centered and strong while the winds blow around you. Can you become this quiet? Yes, with deep prayer and meditation, you can, and you will. I only hope that it will be sooner rather than later.
Another story centers around a King wishing for enlightenment and a lasting happiness, because the king could not find happiness on his own. After he consulted a wise old man, the upshot of the story was that the wise old man asked the king, “What would you give me if I told you the secret to lasting happiness?” And the king replied, “I would but give half my entire kingdom.” But the wise old man accepts nothing from the King except telling him the secret to happiness is to repeat the mantra, “This too shall pass” to oneself time after time. The King was grateful and in awe of the fact that such simple thinking is the true secret to happiness. Accepting what is, and allowing the inevitability of change to pass through the seasons of your life will be what gives you lasting happiness.
Another wise guru, when asked what his secret was with respect to his lasting happiness, replied that he could sum it up in five words: “I don’t mind whatever happens”. And it was as simple but as complex as that. The wise guru grew to accept both the good and bad with dignity and without it disturbing his mind as the winds of fortune blew around him.