Thursday, April 10, 2008

Notes from the Buddha, Part II

The lama told us a story about a young monk who really wanted enlightenment, and went about accumulating as much merit as possible in order to prove his enlightened state. Then he went to the abbot of his monastery and asked about his progress.

"You are far along in your accomplishments, but your mind is cloudy. You need to learn to control your thoughts," is what the abbot told him.

So the monk sat down at a table with a pile of black stones and a pile of white stones. Whenever he had a negative thought, he would pick out a black stone and put it into the center. Whenever he had a positive thought, he would pick out a white stone and put it into the center. By the end of the day, he had many more black stones than white stones.

But the monk kept at it, repeating the exercise daily. Over time, he began to place more and more white stones into the middle, as he trained his mind to think positive thoughts.

Sounds like my kind of monk.