The True Fruits of Our Labor.
There’s a story in the Buddhist texts about a young monkey who lived happily amongst the mountain trees. From his perch, he embraced the entirety of this earth – the oceans, the valleys, the dawn’s breaking light.
Though he valued his freedom, still he craved so much more. He’d heard stories of the plains below – wide open fields and plenty to explore.
At night he dreamt of greener pastures; during the day, he wrestled with discontent. Until finally, under the cover of darkness he crept through the thickened forest brush.
Many hours passed, as the sanctity of his former perch fell further from view. He knew the dangers, yes – in spite of which, he could not turn back.
The last of the trail opened to crystalline stream. “Freedom,” he cried as he raced to the thirst-quenching waters.
Sadly, and unbeknownst to him, a group of hunters had laid traps the night before. “Well, this is curious,” he thought reaching his hand deep into the tar where he became stuck.
Desperate to free himself, he tried to push away with the other hand. Then one foot, and another – until he was thoroughly ensnared. In that moment, he longed for the true freedom of his mountain perch.
In many ways, we are much like the monkey – our mind continuously reaching for the ‘lure’ of better things. We consider contentment as a reward for our labors, not once considering all that is within.
From the edge of this mountain perch, we see our own self reflected. Even the trees gentle, swaying motion speaks to our internal rhythm – it is both the earth which nourishes the root and the sun which sustains its life. Within her limbs, she holds the trust of each forest dweller; she is their shade, she is their shelter…becoming herself, a giver of life.
In peace, my sweet friends…