myles golden
March 19, 2011

99 Problems

The Man Who Went to See The Buddha

The other day after Savasana I remembered the story of the man who went to see the Buddha.  It’s a short but powerful fable that I often conjure up whenever I allow stress to affect me. 

There once was a man who desperately needed to see the Buddha.  He had so many problems and didn’t know what to do!  After several weeks of climbing the Himalayas, he finally reached the ashram. 

The man kneeled at  the Buddha’s feet and said, “Please help me Buddha, I have so many problems.  My wife doesn’t like me, my kids don’t respect me, my boss gives me too much work and on my way over here I lost all my money.  It seems that no matter what I do problems keep coming my way.  How can I get rid of all this?” 

The Buddha looked at the man, shook his head and said, “I’m sorry but I cannot help you.” 

The man’s face quickly flushed with anger.  “What do you mean you can’t help me? You’re the Buddha and you know everything.  I have traveled for many days and you can’t help me???,” he screamed. 

“Yes, I cannot help you.  Your only problem is that you have problems and you don’t want them.  You see, as soon as you solve one poblem, another will replace it.  Shift your perspective and you might not see these circumstances as problems.  Rejecting your experience will only bring you suffering.” 

So, a divorce can be a horrifying experience for some, but to others it can be an opportunity to rebuild their lives and claim their freedom.  The same can be said for losing a job or dealing with someone difficult.  Our perception is what shapes our experience.  The next time you dive into the drama of the negative version of your story, change your perspective and see if there is a positive version instead. 

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