Gumble and the Wise Nyani
Once upon a time there was a very busy Gumble. She was busy from morning to night doing all the things she thought needed to be done. One day Gumble decided to find a quiet forest and sit down, very still, on a rock. Immediately she started to busily thinking about all the things she had or hadn't done in the past, all the things she could be doing now rather than sitting on a rock and all the things she could do in the future. She became very uncomfortable on her rock and began to cry.
“I don't like this rock,” she sobbed, “but I said I'd sit here so I am not going to stop.”
Then, along came a Wise Nyani. “Hello Gumble,” he said, 'Why are you crying?”
“Because I can't sit quietly on this rock,” she cried, “I keep thinking about all the things I have or haven't done in the past, all the things I could be doing now rather than sitting on a rock and all the things I could do in the future.”
“Ah,” said the Wise Nyani “You are suffering from what we call conditions, they will stop being a problem if you find Presence.”
“Oh,” said Gumble brightening, “You mean like on my birthday. Where can I find the presents?”
“It's not like a birthday present.” said the Wise Nyani, “They are also conditions, though nicer ones than feeling sad because you find it hard to sit quietly on a rock. You don't have to find Presence, you just have to Be Presence, because Presence is really all you are.”
Gumble looked at him and started crying again. “How can I be Presence when all I can think about are all the things I have or haven't done in the past, all the things I could be doing now rather than sitting on a rock and all the things I could do in the future. And now as well, how hard it to sit quietly on this rock.”
“Well,” said the Wise Nyani gently “You can just breath all those thoughts into your heart, because your heart is the doorway to Presence.” The Wise Nyani seemed to know what he was talking about so Gumble decided she would stay on her rock a bit longer and try that.
The next day the Wise Nyani came by to see how Gumble was going with breathing her troublesome thoughts into her hear. He found her crying on her rock again. “I can't find my heart,” she sobbed, “so my busy thoughts have nowhere to go.” The Wise Nyani looked fondly at the crying Gumble. “One way to start,” he said “is to be kind to yourself, treat yourself like you would a friend who is a sad as you are.” Gumble cried even harder, “I don't know how to do that,” she said. “I am sure you do,” the Wise Nyani said, “try it and see what happens.”
Being a persistent Gumble - and still having something to prove - she again tried to get comfortable on her rock and to be kinder to herself. She found it did help her busy troublesome thoughts a little, even if they didn't fall into the quicksand of her heart, there was a little more space around them.
But, the next day the Wise Nyani found her crying again. “What is it this time dear Gumble," he asked. “I have been making such a fuss,” she cried. "I know other people struggle to sit still on their rocks but they don't cry and cry and cry.” “You do give yourself a hard time.” said the Wise Nyani. “Well," she found herself saying, "everyone else does, so I should too.” She paused, “That's what you mean by a condition isn't it? That's my wounded child condition. That's who has been sitting on this rock crying and crying. I've been thinking it's me, Gumble crying but it's the little one who failed at reading and has been 'failing' at meditation." Gumble stopped talking and looked at the Wise Nyani. “This is who I put into my heart, maybe the quicksand of Presence will swallow her up and maybe not, but this is where she has to live and who needs kindness.” Gumble sat taller on her rock. “I am going to become Rosie now, the adult nurturing the wounded child and open my heart to Presence so that she, the little one can heal.”
Unfortunately Rosie found that she still couldn't open her heart to Presence because she was still busily thinking about all the things she had or hadn't done in the past, all the things she could be doing now rather than sitting on a rock and all the things she could do in the future. In fact, it became so frustrating that she gave up trying and got off her rock.
When she talked to the Wise Nyani about her frustrations he again said, “Ah, conditions, the struggle is you wanting something other than what is.” “Yes,” said Rosie,”Because you have been saying for two weeks that Presence is where we are all heading and I am still busily thinking about are all the things I have or haven't done in the past, all the things I could be doing now rather than sitting on a rock and all the things I could do in the future and, of course, how hard it to sit quietly on this rock.”
“Well,” said the Wise Nyani, “Those are your conditions and you can surrender to them or struggle because you want something different.”
Rosie understood what the Wise Nyani was saying so she sat back on her rock.When she thought and thought she tried telling herself that what she had was what she'd got and that was what was. It didn't really work. She'd been offered a glimpse of something really good and she wasn't getting any of it.
She realised that what she needed to learn first was remedial meditation. She had gone to a 15 day retreat to learn to meditate and that wasn't, for her, the right way to do it.
|SoulCollage card #1 post retreat|
On just about the very last sit, she found and put into her heart, to join the every-one-gives-me-a-hard-time-so-I-should-too little one and the academically failing could-try-harder teenage, (SoulCollage and reading here) the little one who had felt so miserable and such a failure because she couldn't read for her Papa.
And then suddenly it seemed, the retreat and the agony was over. She was very happy. The 15 days finished in a glory of conversation and the hard times faded away to an interesting growing experience.
Her final words to herself are: Be careful Rosie, be sure you want to put yourself into the crucible before you do anything like that again.
reading for this one here