Monday, January 25, 2016

Is That So?

There was once a Zen Master who was revered by everyone in the community. But somehow whenever praises came his way, all he would say was, "Is that so?" His modest response only furthered people's belief that he was enlightened. One day the unimaginable happened, there was a knock on his door and the father of the teenaged girl living next door accused him of having impregnated his daughter. The Zen Master could only look in amazement and ask, "Is that so?" You can imagine the reaction of the community - a fall from grace took place that couldn't have been more extreme. The public shunned him and the father of the teenaged girl was filing criminal charges against him. But just before he got convicted by the police, the girl got cold feet and admitted that she had a boyfriend and that she had been too embarrassed to reveal the true father's identity, so she wrongly accused the Zen Master of having seduced her. When the father of the girl went to him and apologized profusely, the Zen Master only replied, "Is that so?"

Life shakes us up a little from time to time, and just as the story of the Zen Master shows, we spiritual travelers are not immune. But we have the ability to step out of life's ups and downs just because it is not that hard to figure out that life can be theatrical at times. Every thunderstorm is followed by a rainbow, and this pattern becomes so blatantly apparent to us that sooner or later we too cannot help concluding in amazement, "Is that so?" Goddess Kali sometimes creates havoc in our lives when all accumulated negative energy has to be recycled in one massive thunderstorm. But before you know it, Durga shows Her smiling Face and the sun is shining brighter than ever before. 

Never mind a set-back here or there. Sooner or later we figure out that these too are part of the Way. Let's get up after the stumble and let's get back into the game.

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