There was once in China an expert archer. One day he went to a very high mountain with his bow on his back. While strolling on the mountain, he became thirsty and wanted to drink water. Fortunately, he found a small spring under a bush. He bent the bush and scooped the water with his hands. He drunk out of his hands until his thirst was quenched. It was only when he finished drinking that he thought he saw a snake crawling in the water. He immediately felt sick and wanted to spit out the water he had drunk, but the water would not come out. He became seriously nervous about the water in his stomach, feeling something wriggling in it. He was more than certain that he swallowed the snake. When he got back home he fell seriously ill. Numerous doctors gave him medical treatment, but in vain. Finally, he became nothing but skin and bones, resigning himself to die.
One day a traveler stopped at his home. Seeing the condition of the patient, he asked the reason. The patient told him that he saw a snake crawling in the water of the spring and that he had most certainly swallowed the beast.
The traveler said that he could cure the illness if the patient would do as he told him to do, taking him to the same spring where he had drunk the water.
He told the patient, who was still bearing the same bow on his back, to take exactly the same pose as he had the first time he was there. The patient reluctantly bent over the water and was just going to scoop it up with his hands when he screamed out, that a snake was crawling in the water again. The man told him to be quiet and to observe the snake more closely. The archer got control of himself and found that what he saw was not a snake, but a reflection of the bow he was carrying on his back.
When the sick archer realized that the snake he thought he had swallowed before was only a reflection of his bow, he felt very relieved and soon regained his health...
We must recognize that our mind is the creator of our world and our fate. Our senses play tricks on our minds and yet, we live in fear of things that are not even there. Just as the dust of fear accumulated on the archer's mind and he become healthy again when he was able to wipe the dust away, we must scrutinize our beliefs that obscure the reality of our existence. Only then we will be able live fulfilled lives.
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Image by Chris Tamdjidi
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