The Strings of the Oud: tuned just so..
There is a story of the Buddha and one of his disciples named Sona, who was trying very hard to follow the path to enlightenment.
He forced himself to sit in meditation practice for many hours. He tried very hard to clear his mind of thoughts. He spent hours each day giving to others and very little time caring for his own body and spirit.
All of the monks knew of Sona’s struggle, but they were not sure how to help him.
When the Buddha became aware of the young monk’s distress, he came to see him. The Buddha remembered that Sona had been a fine musician before he took his vows.
“Remember when you played your beautiful oud?” asked the Buddha.
“Of-course, Master,” replied the young man.
“How did it sound when the strings were too tight?”
“The music was high-pitched and out of tune. Sometimes they would break.”
“And when the strings were loose?”
“The music was low and dull”, replied the monk.
“We must tune the instrument of our beings, just so,” said the Buddha. We ask ourselves to aspire to mindfulness and compassion. Yet, we must be mindful of our limits and the depth of our resources in each moment.
A gentle hand on the tuning peg allows the string to vibrate with a beautiful sound.
A gentle hand with our mind and body nurtures awakened heart, and the balance that leads to a mindful life.”
Breathing into the body, I sit on my cushion
Breathing out I feel at home.
Breathing in I notice thinking
Breathing out I gently label thoughts
Breathing in I notice restlessness
Breathing out I am kind to my body
Breathing in I accept my difficulties
Breathing out I am mindful
Sona's story(Adapted from Teachings of the Buddha edited by Jack Kornfield, Shambala Press, 1996).
May this information benefit you, those you love, and all sentient beings, everywhere.
© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013,
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© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013, all rights reserved.