I am a poor farmer in China, but I had one useful possession – a horse. One day the horse ran away, and my neighbors came to console me over my terrible loss. But I said to them, “What makes you think it is so terrible?” A month later, the horse came home–this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. My neighbors marveled at my good fortune. But I said to them, “What makes you think this is good fortune?” Soon after my son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. My neighbors were very distressed by such bad luck. But I said to them, “What makes you think it is bad?” A war came, and every able-bodied young man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only my son, because he had a broken leg, remained. My neighbors congratulated me. But I said to them, “What makes you think this is good?”
What fuels the equanimity of this farmer? How would you cultivate this equanimity
in your own life? Why would you want to?
An invitation to engage with humanity’s Perennial Wisdom.
The Conversation is a “trialogue” between you and the posted teaching, between you and yourself as you seek to respond to the prompts accompanying each teaching, and between you and others who are moved to share their responses here. The Conversation is a way of internalizing Perennial Wisdom and allowing it to speak directly to you, and it is a way of connecting with others who are doing the same.
A new Conversation will begin each month, but you are always welcome to join or re-join a previous month’s Conversation.
Here are the rules for The Conversation:
- Be brief: say what you need to say, but not one word more.
- Be honest: say what must be said even if doing so is challenging.
- Be kind: say what you feel called to say with compassion for both yourself and, if you are commenting on the words of others, for those others who were bold enough to share their thoughts with you.
We hope you will find The Conversation stimulating, enlightening, thought-provoking, revealing, and maybe just a little challenging.