Today I’m going to tell you an old teaching story that I love, and have said to my classes many times over the years and the message always serves as a good reminder.
It starts with a monk in India…
This monk was a very happy monk. He noticed how the world generally took care of itself.
He believed that everything happened for a reason and things would always work out the way they were supposed to.
He would notice his philosophy in action, smile, and nod his head wisely as it confirmed his trust in letting things be as they are.
Then monk traveled to a hermitage for a month. As he unpacked his few belongings, he looked out the window and the scene caught his attention.
He saw an injured deer limping into the clearing followed by a tiger.
He held his breath as he waited to see what would happen.
The deer laid down in the clearing, completely surrendering to the tiger.
Then the tiger sat down, and watched over the injured deer for the whole night.
In the morning, the deer was healed and they went their separate ways.
The monk smiled, and nodded. Yes, everything happens for a reason, and everything works out exactly how it should in the end.
The next evening there was a wild thunderstorm.
The night sky was lit up with lightning and the thunder roared over the thatched huts of the hermitage.
As the monk watched the storm from his window, he saw one of the huts was hit by lightning and lit up on fire.
The monk continued to watch the action, waiting to see what would happen, knowing that all would be fine in the end.
He continued to watch as the fire jumped from roof to roof, and eventually burning down the hermitage.
As he was running from his own hut to safety, he saw the abbess of the hermitage.
The abbess asked him: Did you see how this fire started?
He said, “Yes, lightning hit one of the huts.” He then continued to explain wisely about the deer and the tiger and how everything is meant to be and it all will work out in the end.
The abbess exclaimed, “You fool! There is a time to be a deer, but there is also a time when you need to stand up and be the tiger who watches over the deer!
However, for some of us it’s easier stand by and watch, blame our circumstances on something else, or continue to wait until the “right” time to take action.
The tiger represents action and courage, and one of my favorite definitions of courage is this:
To sense what truly matters in life and live from that place.
Being the tiger can feel riskier, messier and even…dare I say: uncomfortable?
Yet everything we want lies on the other side of fear and resistance.
Yes, it takes some courage, and I know you have it in you.
I’d love to hear from you now! Do you want to share with me a story of when you were a tiger? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
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