For many, the term ‘meditation’ may carry connotations of nothingness, empty, void of everything, no sound, no thought, or an overall lack of something. While meditation calms and quiets the mind, our mind is not empty. It’s quite the opposite. With an easy breath, we cultivate a quiet mind. With this quiet mind, we find nothing is in fact lacking. We begin to discover we are actually open to Everything!

Master Shifu Orlando Schiaffino shares satsangs after his meditations and trainings. Recently, he told us a story about a Farmer and his Horse…

weathered farmers hands gently holding horse head

In a small town, at the base of the mountains, there lived a farmer and his horse. Each and every day, the farmer plowed the field with his loyal and trusty friend. One afternoon, the horse was suddenly spooked and ran off, far away from the village. Several days pass, no horse. Day three, four, five and still no horse. The townspeople are now talking amongst themselves, wondering what the farmer will do, how he will plough his fields and nurture his crops?

After six days with no horse, the townspeople approached the farmer and asked,
    “What are you going to do now that your only horse is gone? We are very worried.”

The farmer simply responded,
    “I don’t know if this is good and I don’t know if this is bad.”

On day seven, guess who comes trotting into town? The horse…with a girlfriend! Pleased his horse has returned and brought a lady friend, the farmer tasks his grandson with breaking in the lady horse for one day she will also help plough the fields. The grandson rode the lady horse but she had a wild spirit and was hard to tame. Before you know it, she bucked off the grandson and broke his arm!

The townspeople once again became worried and asked the farmer,
    “What are you going to do about the horse and your grandson?”

Once again, the farmer simply responded,
    “I don’t know if this is good and I don’t know if this is bad.”

The farmer took his grandson to have his broken arm mended and tended to. The following day, as everyone rose from sleep, they came to realize that China had declared war. Every healthy, uninjured male who was the farmers grandson’s age, was required to report for military service immediately. No exceptions, unless you were sick or injured.

Turns out, a (fixable) broken arm wasn’t so bad after all. The farmer, with his quiet mind, placed no judgement or blame on anything or anyone. He was simply open to everything.

Be like the Farmer.