Non-Attachment and The Peaceful
There’s a poor beggar sitting on the side of the road. A monk walks by carrying a sack. The beggar asks him, “Brother, do you have any food?” The monk says’, “Why, yes, as a matter of fact I do,” and reaches into the sack to grab a sandwich he has in there. While he does, the beggar leans up and peeks into the bag and sees a huge precious gem. The monk hands over the sandwich, and the beggar asks, “Um, what about that big gem? Do you think I could have that too?” The monk replies, “Absolutely!” and hands it over to him without hesitation, much to the shock of the beggar.
Two days later, the beggar is in the same spot and the monk passes by again. The beggar stops him, hands him back the gem. The monk asks, “why?” and the beggar says, “because I don’t need it. What I need is whatever you have that permitted you to so freely part with it.”
So that’s a story about not being attached, obviously to things, but metaphorically it’s also about not being attached to outcomes, or anything, for that matter. Attachment leads to failure of mastery and failure of intelligence.
A great definition of enlightenment: having a mind that is open to everything while being attached to nothing. The peaceful warrior sets their sights on miracles but doesn’t worry when the miracle eludes them. They just keep on keeping on, with enthusiasm and for the pure love of the game and the possibilities of miraculousness.
Thank you, Dr. David Simon, for that story.