The Master was sitting near a pond one day when a young man with a troubled look upon his face, approached him.
“Join me if you like.” The Master walked to the edge of a still pond, framed by sycamore trees, their leaves golden orange and about to fall. “Please sit down,” the Master invited, patting the ground next to him. Looking carefully before sitting, the young man brushed the ground to clear a space for himself.
“Now, find a small stone and throw it in the pond.”
Searching around him, the young man grabbed a pebble and threw it as far as he could.
“Tell me what you see,” the Master instructed. Straining his eyes to not miss a single detail, the man looked at the water’s surface.
“I see ripples”.
“Where did the ripples come from?”
“From the pebble I threw in the pond, Master.”
“Please reach your hand into the water and stop the ripples,” the Master asked.
Not understanding, the young man stuck his hand in the water as a ripple neared, only to cause more ripples. The young man was now completely baffled. Where was this going? Had he made a mistake in seeking out the Master? Puzzled, the young man waited.
“Were you able to stop the ripples with your hands?” the Master asked. “No, of course not.”
“Could you have stopped the ripples, anyway?”
“No, Master. I told you I only caused more ripples.”
“What if you had stopped the pebble from entering the water to begin with?” The Master smiled such a beautiful smile, the young man could not be upset.
“Next time you are unhappy with your life, catch the stone before it hits the water. Do not spend time trying to undo what you have done. Rather, change what you are going to do before you do it.” The Master looked kindly upon the young man.
“But Master, how will I know what I am going to do before I do it?”
“The moment a thought enters your mind, ask yourself, ‘Will this please God’?” If the answer is ‘No’ discard the thought immediately before it is transformed into action. Thoughts are very powerful. So, beware of what you think!”
Self – Audit and Silent Sitting are the two most powerful weapons to manage our thoughts and our life.