Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday April 24, 2005


-My happiness and my inner peace come from acceptance. Accepting life on life's terms and not my own. Removal of false desire leads to the removal of fear, anger and envy; all the blocks to growth.

It is said the Buddha’s Belly is so big later in life because as he got older he accumulated acceptance and love for more and more things. He put all his acceptance in his belly.

Yesterday during a long ride back from a remote area of Guangdong province I was told a story. Most of it in Mandarin. It was told to me for two reasons.

To test my understanding of Chinese and to teach me more about staying in the moment and acceptance.

I will retell it here. I am sure most of the beauty and eloquence will be lost in my translation, but here it is.

As I was being told this story we were rolling along through deep green mountains and valleys. Rivers, canals and ponds were everywhere. In addition to being a beautiful city full of trees and flowers Jiangmen is also a large tree farming city so that the natural landscape and the tree and plant farms create an almost surreal arboreal bliss.

One day a farmer came out of his stable to find that his best horse had run away. Upon learning the news his neighbors all came to console him. He shrugged his shoulders and said you never know what may happen.

A few weeks later he heard a noise in the distance. When he looked he saw his horse come running back and behind it was a herd of tall, strong wild horses.

His neighbors came to him to congratulate him on his good fortune with drinks and rice and laughter. He smiled but stayed sober and calm and said you never know what may happen.

A few days later his only son was taming one of the horses and was thrown.
His leg was crippled and he could not ride or run anymore.

His neighbors came over to share in his sorrow and bemoan his bad luck.

He stayed calm and remained stoic and said you never know what may happen.

A few months later the army came through his village to recruit soldiers for a nearby war. His son was passed over.

Shortly thereafter word came back to the village that the entire army was killed by the enemy and the old man said you never know what may happen.

-I have two more days of intense work before I leave for Sichuan Province on Tuesday night.

I fly to Chongqing (the largest city in the world with 30 million inhabitants) where I will spend the night on the ship. We set off on Wednesday morning for a three day cruise down the Yangtze River and through the Three Gorges. It will be a MUCH needed rest and a dream come true as I have always wanted to cruise the third longest river in the world.