Saturday, 10 October 2009
The Elephant and the Fly
A young man and his teacher were walking through the forest. The disciple was disturbed by the fact that his mind was so restless.
He asked his teacher: "Why are most people's minds restless? What can one do to still the mind?"
The teacher smiled at the student and said:
"I will tell you a story. An elephant was standing and picking leaves from a tree. A small fly came, flying and buzzing near his ear. The elephant waved it away with his long ears. Then the fly came again, and the elephant waved it away once more".
This was repeated several times. Then the elephant asked the fly:
"Why are you so restless and noisy? Why can't you stay for a while in one place?"
The fly answered: "I am attracted to whatever I see, hear or smell. My five senses pull me constantly in all directions and I cannot resist them. What is your secret? How can you stay so calm and still?"
The elephant stopped eating and said:
"My five senses do not rule my attention. Whatever I do, I get immersed in it. Now that I am eating, I am completely immersed in eating. In this way I can enjoy my food and chew it better. I rule and control my attention, and not the other way around."
Something in the young man clicked. "I understand! If my five senses are in control of my mind and attention, then my mind is in constant unrest. If I am in charge of my five senses and attention, then my mind becomes calm".
"Yes, that's right", answered the teacher, " The mind is restless and goes wherever the attention is. Control your attention, and you control your mind".