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The Tamarind Tree: A Metaphor

by | Oct 18, 2016 | Grief and Loss, Mindfulness | 0 comments

 
 
One bright and cool summer day a wise man took a walk along the forest path, simply enjoying the beauty of the earth. At a cross road, he saw a man in grief praying earnestly.
 
The man recognized the wise man and fell on his knees. He cried, “Oh, Wise One, life is indeed bitter and painful! I was once a man with great wealth, living a life of ease and happiness. By trickery and deceit, those I trusted and loved took everything from me. I am now a wretched man with no one to turn to. How many more years must I live in this world before I know happiness?”
 
Pointing to the mango tree by the road, the wise one said, “Do you see that mango tree? You must live as many years as the number of mangoes on that tree before you know happiness.”
 
Seeing that there are at least 2 dozen mangoes hanging on the tree, the man gasped, “But Wise One! I have lived an honest life! Why am I condemned to suffer so much longer?”
 
The Wise One sighed, “That is the way it must be.” And he continued his walk.
 
He came across another man praying by the road and this man too, fell on his knees and cried,“Oh, Wise One, life is indeed bitter and painful. I have lost all those I loved to the king of death. I am now forlorn and lonely. Life is full of anguish. How many more years must I live before I know happiness?”
 
The Wise One pointed to the field of wild flowers along the road and said, “Before you know happiness in this world, you must live as many years as the number of flowers in that field.”
 
Seeing so many flowers in the field, the man cried, “But Wise One! I have done many good deeds, why must I endure so much more suffering?”
 
The Wise One sighed, “That is how it must be.” And he continued on his way.
 
When he came across a Tamarind tree, another man fell down on his knees and cried before him, “Oh, Wise One! Life is full of suffering! During the days I toiled like a slave under the scathing sun; at night I have nothing to sleep on except a pile of grass on the cold, damped earth. Life is nothing but hunger, thirst and loneliness! How many more years must I live before I know happiness?”
 
The Wise One looked up to the Tamarind tree–each branch of it bearing many stems and each stem having many leaves. The Wise One said, “Look at that Tamarind tree. Before you know happiness, you must live as many years as the number of leaves on that Tamarind tree.”
 
As the man looked up at the Tamarind tree and its leaves, his eyes filled with tears of gratitude and joy. “Thank YOU!” he said as he bowed to the Wise One. And he was happy.
 
One’s destination is never a PLACE, but a new way of seeing things.
 
I hope you’ll join us.
 
All my very best, always,
Buffy

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