Posts tagged let go
One day, a Buddhist monk and his apprentice came to a big river and saw a beautiful woman standing by it. Because she couldn’t cross it, she was looking worriedly at it.
The monk walked over and asked the woman: “Do you have an urgent need to cross the river?”
The woman replied: “Yes, Master, my mother is seriously ill. I am hurrying to go back and see her. No one knows that I am at the river, and I am worried I will not get there in time.”
The Buddhist monk said lightly: “This is indeed urgent, let me carry you across the river.”
The woman looked at the two monks in front of her and was hesitant, but when she thought of her mother who was lying in bed, she had no choice but to agree.
The Buddhist monk stepped forward and held the beautiful woman firmly in his arms, rushing past the turbulent river and bringing her to the other side of the river.
Afterward, the monk and apprentice continued on their journey.
After a half-day journey, the young apprentice couldn’t help but ask him: “Doesn’t the master say that monks should not be close to a woman? Why did you carry the beautiful young woman across the river?”
“Oh, do you mean that woman who couldn’t cross the river and needed help?” said the monk casually. “I already put her down when we passed the river and crossed to the other side. Why have you held onto her?”
The monk then said to his apprentice, “if you want pure land, you need to purify your heart. That is to say, to establish a pure land, first of all, purify your heart. Buddhist practice cultivates the mind. The heart is clean so that all beings are clean.”
The woman who was waiting for crossing the river, in the mind of the older monk, was just a human being and someone who needed help. When the monk put her down on the riverbank, he put her down completely. But the young apprentice, though not directly carrying the woman across the river, “carried” her in his heart and was unwilling to put her down. He, as we call it, “could not put his heart down.”
The original Chinese text is from https://www.jianshu.com/p/16b01fbd54a4.
There was a boy with a bad temper, and his father gave him a bag of nails; he told him that he should put one nail in the fence in the backyard whenever he was angry.
On the first day, the boy hammered in 37 nails. Slowly the number of nails per day went down. He found it easier to control his temper than to hammer in the nails.
Finally one day, the boy did not lose his temper, and he told his father. His father asked him to pull out a nail whenever he was able to control his temper.
Many days had passed, and finally, the boy told his father that he had pulled out all the nails. The father took his hand and walked to the backyard and said, “You are doing well, my good boy, but look at all the holes in that fence. The fence will never be able to return to its original shape. The words that you say are like these nails and they leave scars. If stab someone with a knife, no matter how many times you say sorry, that wound will always exist.” The pain we receive from someone’s words is so real, and they are unbearable.
We often cause permanent damage because we are too stubborn to let go. If we can start with ourselves, and begin to be more tolerant of others, I believe we will be able to receive many unexpected results. If we open a window for others, in turn, we let ourselves have a chance to see an entire sky…
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“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher
I have heard this quote many times,
Either from self-improvement workshops,
Or from the books of inspirational authors.
But neither did I understand the meaning behind it…
Nor did I experience it until I finished writing the fourth article about the fire.
How did it happen?
Let’s go back to the moment before.
As an actor always does before going on stage,
I was lying on the couch,
And watching Caroline Myss’ story of David the Navajo on YouTube.
I was exhausted from running errands all day.
I started to relax and dozed off …
All of sudden, I woke up and saw Forgiveness in the description of this video clip,
Right then and there I felt a sense of relief,
I felt my burden lifted,
My sadness gone,
My struggle to let go disappeared,
I was filled with energy,
I was surround by Love …
From that moment on,
The story of Dallas Motor Inn Fire disintegrated.
I felt nothing toward those people who plotted against us…
The most incredible thing was that
I could let go…
I was free…
I felt light and full of energy,
I could not help leaping toward my auditions the next day…
I could not grasp the change in me.
I could not understand how my hatred toward those people had disappeared,
It seemed that the feeling flew away in a gust of wind,
And it happened in an instant.
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
What was going on?
As a student of science, I started to search…
Again and again…
Was it a quantum shift?
Was it a quantum leap?
I exhausted my knowledge.
I was about to give up.
Then I saw the answer.
“LOVE” – a painting was smiling at me from across from my table,
It dawned on me…
Yes, it is Love.
Our nature is … Love.
Spirit is Love.
I awoke …
We are a spiritual being with human experience.
Painting by Jershi Lin
I was just brought back to my spiritual being.
There is no shifting,
There is no leaping,
Just stay put and relax,
Let our nature take over,
Let our spirit awaken.
Yes, it will happen in an instant.
It is faster than the blink of an eye,
Because we are just coming back to our true self.
We are just coming back to our nature.
What an experience I had gone through.
What tremendous energy I have received,
What healing I have received,
But most important of all,
I know indeed…
I am love,
I am energy,
I am a spiritual being.
Painting by Jershi Lin
Sad stories …
In fact, I was not the only victim of the unscrupulous realtor who sold me the motel. I visited several of her other clients. One was a merchant from Taipei known for his business acumen. He bought a hotel quite a distance from the city and overpaid more than a hundred thousand dollars for the property. I could not figure out how such a smart person could be cheated by a realtor. He shrugged helplessly and blamed jet lag.
An engineer retired from Los Angeles city hall also bought a hotel through same realtor. The location turned out to be unsafe, and he had to buy his home in a safer neighborhood. Like me, he too trusted someone who could not be trusted. Last but not the least was a business person who bought a property from her. She put her attorney’s name on the title instead of his. He got his money back with the help of gang members. Her ranking as a $10-million realtor was built on clients’ blood and tears.
What happened to Charles …
All the attorneys who represented the defendants did not want to contact Charles, the Dixie Mafioso. However, we had no choice but to take his deposition. Charles had moved to Austin to avoid investigation by Dallas law enforcement. My attorney went to see a psychiatrist to buck up his courage before we went to see him. Charles began the interview by asking how my husband was doing. I told him I could pray; then I gave him three gospel tracts. Strangely, he opened his jacket and carefully put them in the pocket above his heart. He died of three cancers half a year later. When I heard of his death, I could still picture how sincere he was as he accepted those tracts. Maybe he was anxious to receive salvation from God.
Goddess of justice …
Before leaving the court building, I passed by a statue depicting the Goddess of Justice. She carries three symbols: A sword symbolizes the punishment of evil. A set of balance scales symbolizes the weighing of evidence. A blindfold symbolizes how justice must be objective, without showing fear or favor, regardless of power, money, wealth, status or position.
I felt justice had indeed been blindfolded, but not in the way intended in the depiction of the goddess. I could not help crying, for there was no justice in my case. I was neither a natural-born American nor a native of Dallas. I had neither power nor money to pursue my case. The judge did not allow much of my evidence to be presented to the jurors. My evidence was not properly weighed on the scales. How could we get justice under these circumstances?
The judge is an incarnation of the Goddess of Justice …
In English, justice means “righteousness and fairness.” The word can also refer to a judge. It is right and proper for a judge to bring justice about. He represents an incarnation of the Goddess of Justice! I was unlucky to have as a judge a person who not only disregarded our evidence but belittled me. He told my attorney that he would overturn the verdict if I won the case. And that is what he did, in effect, by wielding his power to rule out evidence that would have vindicated me.
I won the lottery …
As for me, it seemed as if I had won the lottery – the lottery of bad luck! It is unbelievable that I could encounter so many bad people – the Dixie Mafia, the heartless realtor, a real estate lawyer without ethics and an unjust judge. But it added a lot of color to my life story. The fire happened many years ago, and my memory should be blurred, but it came back clearly, and I could recall all the details. It seemed as if the fire happened just yesterday.
Song of Life …
Nonetheless I had a hard time writing about the fire. While writing, I listened to a song by Yanni, “With An Orchid,” in the background. Its sense of sorrow and helplessness seemed to reflect my feeling about the writing I was doing. How I wished I could climb to the mountaintop and yell: “Oh, God! Do you see my grievance? Do you see my frustration? Do you feel my pain? Do you see how helpless I am? Is there no justice?”
I can’t let go …
I can’t put it away. I can’t let go. I can’t forgive them. Many times, tears filled my eyes and I had to stop writing. I remembered a Chinese saying: “The officials are free to burn down houses while the common people are forbidden even to light a lamp.” Is there no justice in this world?
When I think of what resulted from the conspiracy of Charles and the people involved … My brothers lost their jobs, my husband and I both fell ill, and I lost my children’s education fund. I endured endless pain and sorrow. How could I let go?
At this moment, not only did I feel heartbroken, I also felt pain in my right big toe. I awoke at 3:30 a.m. Unable to go back to sleep, I studied the Bible. I saw the verses: Jesus prayed for those who put him on the cross, mocked him, despised him, spat on him. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23-24) But I shook my head and told myself that I could not follow His example because I was a mere mortal.
Continuing my reading, I was amazed by the story of Joseph. He had had four different types of garments – a coat of many colors, slave clothing, prison clothing and garments of honor. Four different types of garments reflected his status in life from a 17-year-old to 30-year-old. In such a short span, he experienced being hurt, betrayed and saved. He had fallen to the bottom, and then climbed to the top as prime minister of Egypt. He saved his family and an entire nation. He became someone who could provide for others.
This story shook me, especially the word provide. I have more than 4200 subscribers to my blog. I was so downhearted and depressed. How could I lift and inspire others? I was filled with hatred. How could I write anything in my loveneverending blog, which emphasizes “love,” not “hate.” Oh, God! What should I do?”
Image is from http://www.christianfreedom.org/prayer-2/
When I arrived home, I started looking for David’s story. Unexpectedly, I found the movie “Windtalkers,” directed by John Woo and starring Nicholas Cage. It is a good story about how Navajo Indians used an encoded version of their native language in radio transmissions to help the American troops and keep the enemy from understanding their messages during World War II. I liked the story, but I was particularly moved by the Indians’ state of mind. They let go of their feelings of oppression and the pain of being forced out of their homes by the same government for which they were now fighting. Instead, they helped the country win the war. Was it thanks to their culture that they could do this? Were they closer to nature? Or did they put country before tribe and home? Maybe their thinking is far superior to ours! Sure enough, watching the video of David the Navajo brought me an unexpected miracle …
To be continued…
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An elevated rock appeared at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) several months ago. Over $10 million was spent to transport this rock from where it was to its new residence, and that became a source of controversy. I went to the LACMA a couple times to figure out whether this rock was worth $10 million.
I thought it would be best for the rock itself to tell us its value, so I initiated a conversation with the rock, “Levitated Mass,” which is now on view at the museum.
Me: My name is Alice, May I ask you some questions?
Rock: I knew you would come to me. Seeing you take so many pictures of me from all different angles, I sensed you wanted to tear me apart and analyze me. Boy, you really looked scary.
Me: Sorry if I offended you. I just wanted to figure out whether you’re worth $10 million.
Rock: I heard a lot of conversation about that – lots of talk among museum visitors. But you were the
first one to come to me directly. I have to admit you have guts.
Me: I heard an interesting story that, in 1968, land artist Michael Heizer envisioned a project for which
he needed the “perfect” boulder. He spent years looking for that perfect boulder. Then, in 2006, his
friend found him the “perfect” rock. That was you, wasn’t it?
Rock: Yes, I made Heizer‘s dream come true after 38 years of conception. Indeed, if you dare to dream,
it will be realized.
Me: It must feel good to fulfill someone’s dream.
Rock: That was just the beginning. The people tasked with moving me from Riverside to LA faced a lot of challenges.
Me: Was it because of your size (nearly two stories tall at 21 feet in height) and weight (340 tons)?
Rock: Yes, it took them years to find the right company to move me, select a route, get more than a
hundred permits, control traffic, build trailers, and remove all obstacles… The whole process needed
unbelievable coordination from everyone. They overcame difficulties and made the impossible possible.
Me: This reminds me of a Chinese story about a foolish old man who moved a mountain. The point of the story is that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Based on what you described, it sounds as though the “foolish” men in this case showed us that if we have the will, we can definitely accomplish something, too. By the way, any particular feelings during your trip to Los Angeles?
Rock: During my 11-day journey through four counties and 11 cities, traveling no faster than five to
eight miles per hour in the night, I was quite happy to see many residents of those cities come out in the
middle of the night to greet me. To see these people enjoy art without having to go to a museum gave
me a wonderful feeling. They could enjoy art under the sky where there weren’t any boundaries or
Me: This makes me think of street art. I like it because it is without limits or boundaries.
Rock: Actually, I would like to share with you a life lesson that I learned from this journey.
Me: Great. Please go ahead.
Rock: To be honest, I was sad that they took me out from the quarry where I enjoyed sleeping on the
land and watching the stars in the bosom of Mother Nature. I missed my freedom and the serene
quietness out there in Riverside.
Me: I am sorry to hear that. It never dawned on us that you, a rock, would also have feelings. Well, then, I’m sure that you weren’t happy to be installed above this 456-foot-long trench in the back section of
the museum. The trench gradually descends underneath you and rises back to ground level on the other
side, creating the illusion that you are floating. It is quite an incredible work of art, right?
Rock: Yes, it may be so in the eyes of visitors. Yet, for this so called “incredible artwork,” workers put a screw on my bottom so that I would be secured. For some time, I was quite upset that I was stuck here,
but gradually I learned to deal with it. Seeing folks walk under me, I sensed that I could bless everyone
who walked under me. All of a sudden, I realized that I could let go of my stress simply by blessing all the people who walked under me.
Me: Wow, what a wise observation. Do you know that you just taught me how to “let go”? A lot of times
we know that we will have a brighter and a happier future if we are willing to “let go“ of those who
wrong us, or “let go” of unfortunate events and circumstances. Bless them with our love, and then our
burden will go away.
Rock: Yes, just bless anyone or any event that you can’t let go of. Bless them. Just bless them and you
can be at ease and get on with your life.
Me: You’ve told me an inspiring story about daring to dream, and that if you do dream, your dream will come true. You also showed me the importance of believing – where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the most amazing insight I’ve gained from you is to bless, so that we can let go and move on with our lives. Priceless lessons.
I know now when I looked at you I won’t focus on your $10 million price tag, but on the value that you
Thank you – I got it.