Sunday, April 5, 2020

Fix the face, not the mirror

A drunken man was walking home after a party one late night when he suddenly lost his balance and fell into a bush of thorns. When he reached home, he quietly sneaked into the bathroom and looked at the mirror. He was shocked to see that he had bruises and scratches all over his face. He suddenly realized that he had been warned by his wife never to drink again and if he did, she would leave him. With the hope of playing it safe, he got his first-aid kit and dressed all his bruises to tell his wife in the morning that he accidentally fell down on the road while walking home in the dark. But in the morning, he woke up to his wife yelling at him for drinking again. He protested saying that he never drank at the party. But his wife took him to the bathroom and showed him how he had placed the bandages all over the mirror. He did not have even a single bandage on his face.

In life, we always tend to find fault in others and try to fix them, not realizing that the actual cause of pain and suffering springs from our own mind. In an argument, we think that we are always right and the other person is wrong, and this makes the situation worse for both because the other person also thinks the same. But if we look at ourselves and try to re-define the way we perceive the world, we won’t have issues with people around us. We have to fix ourselves, not others. At the core of spirituality lies the quality of our mind. All the pain and pleasure, peace and suffering, happiness and sadness that we experience in our everyday life evolve from the thoughts we harbor in our mind. If we manage to keep our mind as pure, innocent and calm as it should be, we will naturally be happy and peaceful with everybody in the society.

Great Masters say that our mind is like water in a jar. If we shake it, it becomes murky, but if we leave it undisturbed, the dirt settles down at the bottom and the water becomes clear and pure. A disturbed mind is like murky water, filled with jealousy, anger, ego, greed, attachments and ignorance. It is these impurities that blur our vision and deprive us of the opportunities to see the brighter side of life. Even when somebody yells at you, people say that it is healthy to remain calm and let those brutal words freely fly by so that you will not be disturbed. But if you try to hold them back, your mind will be disturbed and you will not be able to enjoy peace. After all, even resorting to physical violence to overcome your perceived enemies won’t solve the issues. It will further make the situation worse, causing more pain and suffering for yourself. Therefore, it is important to fix our own face, not the one we see in the mirror.

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