Short Story by Alan Watts to Help Relax Your Mind: The Taoist Farmer
A short story that will help you see how the mind has a tendency to jump into its own conclusions.
You can have peace of mind when you learn to swim with rather than against the flow of Life.
Most people are identified with their thoughts and they believe everything their ego-mind throws at them.
The Taoist Farmer Short Story
“This may be illustrated by the Taoist story of a farmer whose horse ran away.
That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, “May be.”
The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, “May be.”
And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “May be.”
The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected.
When the neighbors came in to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, “May be.”
― Alan Watts
You can use the same attitude that the farmer had and respond to your racing thoughts with a “maybe” too.
To whatever the mind is throwing at you, you can go, “yes, maybe”, and when you do you’ll find that your mind relaxes and you’ll instantly become more peaceful.
You can do this by simply not allowing yourself to get emotionally entangled in the stories and opinions of the mind, realizing that it doesn’t know the Truth and never will.
The mind just has a lot of opinions and conclusions about things that may or may not have anything to do with what is actually happening. 😊
So whatever is going on in your life and whatever it’s telling you about it; respond with a “maybe” and see how doing this affects your emotional and mental well-being.
This doesn’t mean that you become passive or irresponsible about what’s going on, it just means you become more aware and present.
You become aware of the fact that you are not your thoughts, and this separation and dissociation/detachment brings inner peace, every time.
And you become present with what actually is, instead of believing the stories your mind is telling you, and then from this calm and peaceful state of mind you are then able to better handle whatever is going on in your life.