What does this beautiful Chinese parable and yoga have in common?
SANTOSHA: The second of the niyamas means, contentment. I don’t think that Santosha necessarily means happiness, although being aware of the simple things that bring you pleasure, helps. I believe that experiencing Santosha is all about having trust in a supreme universal force, whether it is Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, or the ocean breeze. Santosha is about believing in every moment that all is exactly as it should be. This reminds me of a beautiful parable of a Chinese farmer…
A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune. Sei Weng said simply, “That’s the way it is.”
Some time later, Sei Weng’s only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng’s misfortune. Sei Weng again said, “That’s the way it is.”
Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng’s lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sei Weng’s good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, “That’s the way it is.”
***As told by Chin-Ning Chu, in “The Asian Mind Game: unlocking the hidden agenda of the Asian business culture — a westerner’s survival manual,” New York:Macmillan Publishing Company, page 182. (1991)
Obviously, the meaning of this story is that everything happens for a reason. Nothing is neither good nor bad but simply a train of events carried on outside of our own control. Life contentment is found by not attaching oneself to these external circumstances, as hard as it may be.
Honestly, today I find life to be a miracle. It is not always perfect, sometimes I feel better then others, but the way I feel doesn’t alarm me. I spend time each morning trying to get into the right frame of mind, by connecting to a power greater then myself, then no matter what happens, “That’s the way it is” is my response. (At least sometimes this works ;)… )