Lion and the Goat

Feb 26, 2005

Goggles. It used to be my favorite metaphor. If you wear green goggles, everything looks green.

While we were led by a drunk driver, inspiration struck: let's walk 12 kilometers to visit a 'Vedanta' nun, day after tomorrow. Walk, so we can remove some of our goggles on the way. It's one thing to get in a car, make a visit, and zoom back. And quite another to walk in silence, struggle with the heat, become dehydrated and arrive without an appointment.

And so went.

Swami Samananda received us with her ultra-peaceful presence. She asked about us and without hesitation, responded to all our questions clearly and pragmatically. No matter how tired you were, the strength of her serenity would lift anyone up. Among other blessings, she gave us a story by Anthony De Mello:

While looking for food, a hungry young man sees a lion with prey. Under a nearby tree, he sees a goat starving for food. In a surprising move of kindness, the lion drops off some of his food for the hungry goat. Seeing this, the young man thinks to himself: "The Universe is amazing! If it provides for that goat, it will surely provide for me." He goes home and sits there, figuring that food will come to him. After a few days, a wise man drops by his home and remarks: "Fool, you have to be like the lion, not the goat. Get up and start giving!"

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