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Controlling Your Destiny (Part 4)

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(…continued from last week)

There’s a motto a good friend told me years ago that he always tried to do with his clients. He said, “Do good things, and don’t do bad things.”

Make sense to me. Seems like a pretty easy way to live, doesn’t it? Do good things and don’t do bad things. Sometimes bad things just come about. They almost magically appear out of thin air.

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Bird’s Nest Up A Tree

I remember a story I heard years ago that comes from ancient China. It was attributed to a fictitious character by the name of Bird’s Nest.

Long ago in ancient China there lived a monk who spent much of his time daily, perched in the top of a certain tree meditating. It didn’t matter if the tree waved during fierce winds. It didn’t matter if it rained. It didn’t matter if it was sunny. The monk would climb up, settle in the top of the tree, and just relax. Because of this deep meditation at this place, he became nicknamed “Bird’s Nest” by the people in the village nearby.

Many of the villagers passed beneath the monk when they were hunting or gathering wood in the forest. They would look at him, notice him, and go about their business. Occasionally some would stop and talk of their concerns with Bird’s Nest, and they liked the things he told them and his wisdom.

Soon he became known for his kind thoughts and words, and the insights he was able to give. After a number of years the monk’s wise reputation spread throughout his providence. Visitors from distant cities would often hike to this remote place and ask his advice.

One day the governor decided that he too would visit Bird’s Nest because of his wisdom, and discuss matters that he considered important.

So one spring morning the governor set off to find him. After traveling for a number days, he finally found Bird’s Nest’s tree in the dense forest. There the monk sat calmly in the top branches enjoying the warmth of the day, and the bird’s song of spring around him.

Looking up the governor shouted, “Bird’s Nest, I’m the governor of this providence. I’ve come a great distance to speak with you. I have a most important question.”

The governor waited for a reply, but only heard the sounds of nature.

The governor then continued, “This is my question; tell me Bird’s Nest, what is it that all the wise ones have taught? Can you tell me the most important thing the Buddha ever said?” There was a long pause.

All he heard was the rustling of the leaves in the breeze. Finally the monk called down from high in the tree.

“This is your answer governor–don’t do bad things, always do good things–that’s what all of the Buddha’s have taught.”

The governor thought this answer far too simple to have walked two days to hear. Highly irritated and annoyed with he monk, he stammered out, “Don’t do bad things, always do good things! I knew that when I was three years old, monk!”

Looking down at the governor, Bird’s Nest replied with wry smile, “Yes, the three year old knows that, but the 80 year old still finds it very hard to do.”

When it feels difficult to do good things, remember to seek that three year old within yourself that Bird’s Nest referred to. Give yourself the gift of paying attention to, and hearing the rambling of your thoughts, that go back to that conditioning from long ago.

Make better choices, break some of those habit patterns. Move into a new day and a new way because you don’t have to do things exactly the way they have always been done. You can do new things that will help take you to a new way of being. You can create a new destiny beginning today.

(to be continued…)

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