The eyes are tired. Too many images, too many colours, too many forms, too many contours, too many profiles, too much light and yet too much darkness. The ears are tired, too many jarring notes, too many voices, too much sound, too many words, too many sentences. The intellect is tired. Too many words with too much ambiguity. Sentences that say a lot and yet nothing the implicit emptiness of something apparently full. Semantic degeneration. Too less sympathetic resonance. Words ricochet off the mind, off the heart, of the intellect. The limbs are tired. Too much movement. Most of the time movements that mean physical labour without intellectual enrichment. Movements meant to satisfy unknown urges, to reach endless materialistic goals, which unceremoniously keep multiplying and one feels like the proverbial donkey trotting along to reach the carrot hung in front by the rider. Why is the misty mountain so fascinating? Yet, it is frightening, challenging. The human mind falters, pulls itself back into form and casts a look at the misty mountain, at the daunting view. Insurmountable! A small whisper from far beyond.
The mental faculties are challenged. They are kept in continuous motion. A meaningless task of juggling figures and objectives. The goal that was apparently near is all of a sudden very far, too far to reach. Calculations after calculations, innumerable papers containing words, phrases, diagrams etc., all outcome of complex and tiring processes of thought. Night after night one burns the midnight oil, trying to find a solution to a very grave problem. A problem that steals his sleep, his peace, his energy. It saps his strength, his motivation. The misty mountain looms in front of the mind’s eye. The mist is thick and blurs the vision. The mountain is high, difficult to climb. Was there the noise of shackles? Of unseen chains that hinder the freedom of the limbs? The misty mountain seems to be ever-present.
Material wealth did not bring peace, will not bring peace. The desire keeps growing. Happiness becomes the carrot the donkey is trying to reach. The road is rough, dusty, filled with stones, potholes, boulders, puddles and at times thorns. The wind is unpredictable, it blows dust into the tired eyes. The misty mountain still looms frighteningly in front.
Time to stop. Time to stop viewing the misty mountain, the dusty road, the stones strewn along the path. Close the eyes. How beautiful was spring? The little flowers in the meadow smile in the sunshine. The grass is green with a freshness that fascinates the mind. The butterflies, although with a very short span of life flit happily from flower to flower to appease its little hunger, The birds sing, calling to their mates. The wind caresses the leaves that dance in joy.
Lunch was tasty. The hunger is gone, It was a pleasure to drink that cool water after a long walk in the hot sun. How pleasing was the shade of the tree. Compassion in practice. A little bird enjoys a little bath in a small puddle. A stork is patiently waiting in the pool for a fish to come up.
Little moments of joy, the little jade lakes that fill your heart. Moments, which, when put together, create a larger scenario of happiness. You have the power to choose to be happy. Your craze for material luxury has brought you to this pitiable state. You are living for your employer and making him richer and richer, whilst you become poorer and poorer. When are you going to think of your own welfare?
You were born to fly,Why crawl? — Rumi
Why have you closed your eyes to the blessings you have? The colours around you, the music around you, the beautiful trees, the grass, the flowers, the birds and the fruit that mother nature offers you? Why have you filled your life with material objects, imitations when you have the original beauty in front of you? The great fountain of peace is within you. You have locked up yourself in the darkness and whine. Why have you closed your doors to happiness that is by nature yours?
Alas, for thy madness sore!
Fortune awaits outside,
But thou wilt not open the door. – Rumi
Empty your mind, let it become the receptacle of happiness pouring forth from your inner springs. Centre yourself within your own inner self. It is your intrinsic nature to be happy. Let not the foggy mountain steal your sleep.
There is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way – Thich Nhat Hanh
Why search for the sun in the sky, when you are carrying your own sunshine in your heart. Why depend on others for happiness, when your essence is happiness?
Conclusion – The Empty Mind
Let the misty mountain vanish into the mist. Let the jade lake of happiness spread its music of silence.