I've had covid/cold this week (sorry for the delay in writing to you) and feel quite uneasy. But such moments are also great for supercharging my practice of meditation. When you have to stay at home largely, you are forced to be with yourself. This is not unlike being in meditation retreats.
I've been spending hours a day meditating and listening to texts and podcasts about wisdom. One of my long term mentors from afar has been Joseph Goldstein, and in particular his Insight Hour podcast. He shared a poem in one of his episodes, which has been blowing my mind for days. It goes like this:
The thief left it behind:the moonat my window.
This is a Zen story of a man who lived modestly. One day this man arrived home and found out that all his belongings were stolen. Most of us would get utterly resentful, angry, and bitter about this. However this man was an enlightened one. He realised that the thief left behind the most valuable thing in his house: the moon at the window.
The traditional interpretation is that no matter what one takes away, one cannot take away your enlightenment. The moon is considered a representation of enlightenment.
In more modern times, I would take it as a story to inspire gratitude. What we often give value to is not inherently valuable. It’s easy to give value to your laptop or jewellery in the house, but isn’t the moon at the window more valuable?
It blew my mind when I read it. Such a clever way of saying so much.
I hope you find some insight in this poem, and in the idea of gratitude.