Last night I went to yoga. While waiting I picked up a book, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” I’d heard of this famous book, but hadn’t yet read it. For some reason, it spoke to me at that moment and asked me to take it home. So I did.
In the book there is a chapter about control. It says,
“To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him.”
How so? Intrigued, I read further…
To summarize, everything we see is changing, losing its balance. But in the background is the perfect balance. We fight and try to control our sufferings. But it is not possible because suffering is simply how we live, grow and extend our life. Rather than trying to control it, the best policy is to let it do what it wants – give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow to roam around – then watch it, without trying to control it.
This explanation is contradictory to our natural instinct. When we want to control something, we usually are inclined to tighten the leash and shorten the boundaries. Give it a large and spacious meadow? Hmm…
I’m still digesting the real meaning of this, but I think the wisdom is confirmed by my own experiences. The more I try to control PMS or my emotions, the worst they get. When I cease trying to control them and give them permission and space to do what they want – to express and exhaust themselves – they usually come and go as they please. And in doing, so cease to be a suffering.
What’s your experience? What are your thoughts on this Zen wisdom? Appreciate your comment.