Following the same dynamic of the meditation sessions I am doing every Wednesday at 8:20 pm (GMT-4), I have decided to publish each of the stories I share at the end of the class. A week ago, in the second meeting, I spoke a little about the judgments that we are constantly making about the situations that we are experiencing and that are happening to us.
We constantly want to be ahead of the present moment, if something happens to us directly we think it is right or wrong, and very rarely do we leave open the possibility that such an event will develop in time and see what it triggers.
To make it clearer, I am sharing with you the story of that day, so that each of us can reflect on it.
The story of The Elder man and his horse:
In a faraway village there was a very poor old man, he had only a son and a beautiful horse.
One morning, the old man discovered that the horse was no longer in the stable. The whole town found out and gathered around saying:
-Poor old man. How unfortunate, to have lost his only horse.
-Let's not go too far - said the old man.
-Let's just say the horse isn't in the stable. Here's the fact. Whether it's a misfortune or a luck I don't know, nobody knows, because this is just a fragment. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow.
People laughed at him. They had always thought he was a little crazy. But after 15 days, one night the horse came back. It hadn't been stolen but had run away. And not only that, but he brought with him a dozen beautiful wild horses.
Once again people gathered saying:
-You were right, man. It wasn't a misfortune but a real luck.
-You're going too far again - said the old man.
-Let's just say the horse is back, just the fact. Who knows if it's lucky or not? It's just a fragment. They're reading just one word of a sentence. How can they judge the whole book?
This time people couldn't say anything else, but inside they knew he was wrong. Twelve beautiful horses had arrived.
After a few days, the old man's son started training the horses. A week later he fell off one of the horses and broke his leg.
People gathered again and judged:
-You were right again - they said, it was a disgrace. Your only son has lost the normal use of his leg and, at your age, he was your only support. Now you are poorer than ever.
-They're obsessed with judging - said the old man.
-Don't go too far. Let's just say my son has broken his leg. Nobody knows if it's a misfortune or a fortune. Life comes in pieces, and we are never given more than this.
It happened that, a few weeks later, the country went to war and all the young people in the village were taken to the army. Only the old man's son was saved because he was crippled. The whole village was crying and complaining because it was a war lost in advance and they knew that most of the young people would not return.
-You were right, man, it was a fortune. Even if his leg doesn't work, you still have your son with you. Ours are gone forever.
-But they keep on judging - said the old man. Let's just say that his sons have been forced to join the army and that my son has not been forced. This is the fact. No one knows yet whether it is a misfortune or a fortune that this should happen...
For ten minutes, watch your breathing. During that time, just turn your attention to the flow of air through your nose, and every time you want to make a judgment about whether your breathing is too fast or too slow, too deep or too shallow, make a mental record of that judgment and let it go. Do not jump to judgment about what is happening in a hurry. Just give it time to know how that situation will end up unfolding. When time has passed, open your eyes and continue with what you have been doing during the day.
That way, you will begin to become aware of "the judgments you are constantly making". If possible, take this exercise of recording the judgments you make in all of your day's activities, too, and count them. You will be surprised to learn that you do this many times, especially with yourself.
If you have questions about this way of cultivating your attention and realizing what is happening in the present moment, ask me in the comments or write to me through our community's Discord Sangha Diamond Action, and I will be happy to help you.
Thank you very much for reading me.
I am Julio Cesar Arvelo, practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation.
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