Attachment & the New Year

I enjoy telling stories.  Some of you know that very well; maybe even too well!  One of the stories that I often tell is of the guru who, one day, threw rocks at anyone who came to listen to him.  Some ran and warned others to avoid their guru that day.  Some listened to the warning and others ignored it.  Some were hit with rocks, others were not.  Some picked up the rocks that hit them and others left before another rock could hit them.  The next morning, those who were hit with rocks—whether they ran or whether they stopped to pick up the rocks—they all woke up bruised and sore but the few who had stayed long enough to pick up the rocks found that the rocks had turned to gold nuggets.

“Should one find a man who points out faults and who reproves, let him follow such a wise and sagacious person as one would a guide to hidden treasure.  It is always better, and never worse, to cultivate such an association.” ~Buddha, Dhammapada vrs 76

I make no claim to wisdom; rather, I noticed what happened within myself as I thought about shaving the beard and cutting the hair that’s been growing all year.  With those thoughts in my own head yesterday, I shared a picture on Facebook and wrote one word with it “Before.”  I gave no explanation but there followed a slew of comments:


“What are you doing?”  “All of it?  Or just the edges?”  “Why?”  “Where’s the after!?!”  “Noooo!!!!!!”  “Yes where is the after pic”  “Seriously, dude.  After?  The masses want to know!”


We become so easily attached to this or that.  What impact will any change in the appearance of my face or hair or beard really have on anyone?  What impact does any circumstance have on us?  Whatever the impact, it reveals more about who we believe ourselves to be than it does about the circumstances.

So, if you’re still reading along, where’s the gold?  What do you see in this story or in the circumstances around you?  What does what you see tell you about you?  That is the gold.  May I offer, if you’re still reading, one little bit of advice?  Be careful with the gold.  Gold is heavy and, even though it’s a soft metal, it will do more damage than the same sized rock if you hit yourself with it.

Jai Bhagwan