Is that so? Breathe and Celebrate

by Patricia on

IS THAT SO?  – an old Zen story
A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter’s accusation, he simply replied “Is that so?”
When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. “Is that so?” Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.
For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened. “Is that so?” Hakuin said as he handed them the child.

The Zen master did not resist what was before him in the moment.  Most of us are very resistant to what is in the moment, especially when we don’t like it, don’t want it, take it personally, feel fear or anger or sadness about it.

Here is a process for re-framing the situation and shifting the energy.

Identify a situation that you are regretting, repeated revisiting or resisting…  it doesn’t feel finished, you are annoyed about it, you keep telling others about how awful it is, you wish it would go away, etc.

Then take a few minutes to answer the questions below.

What happened that this situation exists/occurred?  (just facts, no interpretation or justification or emotions/feelings)

What did you say to your self about this situation? What is the story you have about this situation?

Is that story true?  Can you absolutely know that it is true?

What do you get from holding that story?

How do you react when you tell yourself the story about the situation?

Is that a response that serves you well?

Who would you be, what would be different, without that story and reaction?

What would you rather think?

How would you rather act?

What can you think differently?

What can you do differently?

What will you think differently?

What will you do differently?

As you are doing the writing, remember to breathe. In through the nose (tongue on the roof of your mouth), out through the mouth (tongue on the floor of your month). This will allow the emotions to move through easily.

Consider celebrating the situation. Instead of complaining or staying in the story you have about what is, just jump up and say “Wow, another opportunity for transformation!” or some other (possibly outrageous) statement of celebration. Observe how your energy changes. It is very difficult to stay stuck, upset, etc, when celebrating what is.

There is much depth to these suggestions. I trust you will enjoy exploring the depth and in return find the heights of being in the Now, open to an amazing future.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dee August 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

Thanks Patricia! I going to sit down tomorrow morning and try this exercise! When I have completed the exercise, I’ll shout out, THANKS PATRICIA!! You make a difference in my life. Love, Dee

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